Like many fictionalized accounts of this period, the historical data that forms the backdrop is far more vivid than the characters who people it. It is the story of a band of people who plan to migrate to California from Colorado by covered wagon toward the end of the Civil War. They have vast reaches of unfriendly Indian territory to cross. However, they are led by Benteen, a scout of great skill and a blood brother of Natchee, the Apache chief. Much of the book is concerned with Benteen's love for Dallas Forrester, the wife of a spineless, bloodless Southern officer whom she is reluctantly to rejoin at his post. Naturally, everything conspires to throw these two together- though they struggle tediously and unconvincingly against their love. When they reach the fort, after several skirmishes with the Indians, Dallas' husband meets a deserved death- and the lovers are free for each other, as you may have been able to deduce if you have gotten this far. The book's few genuine moments center around a young Indian girl, whom a white trader has abducted and whom Benteen returns to the Apaches.... For the western audience of say- Haycox- undifferentiated and undemanding.