The novel begins in the desert of southern Utah. It is the 1870s. John Hare is a young cowboy who was rescued from sure death by a Mormon rancher by the name of August Naab. Naab puts him to work with an adopted daughter, Mescal, who tends his herd of sheep. Out in the open air, Hare not only recovers his health; he falls for Mescal in a big way. The greatest danger Hare faces though, is over Mescal, a half-Navajo shepherdess who is already promised in marriage to Naab’s first-born son. The Mormon religion, however, demands that the girl shall become the second wife of one of the Mormons. Well, that’s the problem of this great story.