Again the pioneers, of 1811, this time, and of Martin Brown, whose fortunes have been self made and self planned, confronted with a complete reversal of unsuspected origins. For he is to marry the wealthy Judith Ayres, who comes from Kentucky to make sure of her choice, and their return to her home is to end in marriage. Their trip back has short shrift as the earthquake pursues them, as Martin chooses to return to his furnacesand mines and sends Judith on with her father. Martin's brother, Jared, a minister who tells the story, experiences a real conversion on the way back. He sees Martin succumb to the lure of Lilla and disappear with his natural son, Ira, and, leaving in disgust, Jared picks up Judith's trail. He and his faithful Iroquois, The MacDougal, save her life and it is Jared who is to take her for his wife. One more trip West finds Martin stripped of any desire for further fortune or wealth, content with Lilla and Ira, and happy in the coming marriage of Jared and Judith. Van Every's books have always told a story, and mostly well, but here the earthquake sequence has a fascination that gives a strange light to something of a dim story. First person, and at moments, fabulous.