A lot of story here, nearer to the Haycox tradition than anything to date, takes place when the Old West was new, and the military and civilian and villain were fighting it out for dominance. Young Royall, fleeing his father's part in Biddle's Bank, and President Jackson's contempt, heads West, for the ""charnel house of the Army"" -- Fort Gibson -- which is to be built up to garrison strength, and flaunts his fiery rebellion all along the route from Washington across the Mississippi. Along his way, he is commissioned to guard the new Governor's gold, cat-and-moused by Ollers whose interest in Christian dollars is only matched by his disregard for Christian souls, and is confronted by the integrity of Beth, the Governor's daughter, and Harrlet, Ollers' half-breed daughter, whose hatred of her father stops at nothing for revenge. At the Fort, his insolence sends him away for a summer work detachment where he wins loyal men and steadfast enemies, he learns the insecure, pathetic condition of the Indians, and feels the temper of all parties as Ollers' manipulations ruin a possible Indian peace and white security. And, for all his shooting and toughening, it is the return of the Colonel which establishes a new regime -- and Royall has thoroughly digested his new lessons. Robust and dashing, this will have men as well as women readers--for its intelligence, style and action.