A story of sincere but simple dimensions follows young Nat Kijburn on a search for his father that takes him across the continent in the 1840's. With Jonas Patch, a young New England schoolmaster, Nat escapes the tyranny of his uncle and starts out with a wagon train for Oregon. Two families, the Hopkins, with their four children, and the soon-to-be-widowed Susan, with her two babies, become Nat's and Jonas' special friends. But as the trail goes, so does Nat's search. It is rewarded finally when he encounters his father and a group of trappers and saves them from an impending raid. Joined now by Mr. Kilburn, the company moves into the Willametis Valley where Nat is overjoyed that his venturesome father has decided to stay and marry Susan and where Jonas too settles with Betsy Hopkins. Some history of the beginnings of Oregon enters this.