The conflict of an Indian out of Oklahoma trying to prove he is ""John Nolan, American"" sets a lonesome trail for the man who was known as Cherokee. Joining up with a wagon outfit, remote and unafraid, Cherokee is able to guide them through Apache territory but the many unknowns in his past block his future with Kathleen O'Donegal who falls in love with him. Cherokee rides on alone, becomes a dispatch rider for the Army- and it is Cochise, aware that he is attempting to learn how the Indian can make his terms with the white man, who leaves orders that he remain unharmed. Still searching, Cherokee leaves the Army- to build his own cabin outside of Tucson where he again finds Kathleen- but it is she who shows him that there can be a middle way.... In the reconciliation of this bitter breach, this sounds not only an old war cry, but also a love call for this new world and those who staked it out, in tremulous terms.