A grim and unsavory period in Canada's story is given vivid reality in this story of a little group of Highland crofters, dispossessed by new land laws, and persuaded to fare forth in search of the New World's bounty, under the auspices of Lord Selkirk and the Hudson's Bay Company. Jennings has chosen that period when the Company was at low ebb; when the station factors were incompetents and little aid and protection was given against the aggressive, powerful, marauding men of the burgeoning new Northwest Company. Virtually Civil War existed in the area between the Bay and the Red River. And into this far frontier came a decimated, half-starved band of survivors of Selkirk's ill-fated expedition, the third to be sent out to colonize the new lands. The story is told by Selkirk's appointed representative, the schoolmaster. A few of the other members of ""the strange brigade"" take on form and substance, but the story does not plumb the depths but skims the surface, depending on the unfolding of the shocking tale of violence and men's passions for wealth and power for its impact. New material for readers, this contributes another panel to America's background.