Early 1800's in Santa Fe and Taos, for the career of Dona Lona, who runs from an apparently faithless lover in Mexico to the North, where the country captures her and holds her against returning to her own people. Her Rudolfo follows, and is about to decide to stay there with her, when he is killed, leaving the field to trader Ewing Young, who goes West to win a fortune for Lona. He never returns, and her gambling sala is a success. Eventually, she dabbles in politics -- does her share in the Mexico-Texas-New Mexico realignment-- and wins another man. Story of a dominant, colorful woman, rebelling against her times. Played against good local history, but the story itself seems overlong and unclimaxed, except as history controls its pattern.