1864, smoldering secessionists, smugglers, and one fine figure of a man- Captain Denny Rawls- who, after his betrayal by Astrid McQuestion, accepts Kathleen Garrison's offer to pilot her boat up the Missouri river. On their way, he discovers that the boat is carrying contraband, and it is appropriated by McQuestion-Astrid's father- and a scoundrel. Indians, unhealthy country, difficult waters, treachery and murder, and finally explosion sounds the last detonation of disaster to the expedition. Kathleen and Rawls make their way back to civilization- and each other. Stalwart.