Moses is Charlotte's cat and inseparable companion during their 1852 journey from Wisconsin to Oregon. The period detail-- improvisations of the wagon train--has verisimilitude, but the cat is cast as some kind of hero-waking her in time to foresee a cyclone (and save the family), again in time to detour a buffalo stampede (and save the entire train). Meanwhile Sharly travels with her mother and brother because Pa left first to find a place in California. Their discovery of his changed route is coincidental, and Sharly's first person met in the happy valley is none other than. . . . The other characters are simplistic types, and Charlotte is too fussy for most tastes.