A story of Oregon's Willamette Valley during the Gold Rush concentrates more on the establishment of law and order than the riches to be found to the south. Young Boone Rourke is Lord's pack boy in Stumptown, up the river from Portland. His job is to obtain supplies for Mr. Lord but the thorn in his side is Moss Martmann, a crooked trader in Portland who is ready to rob him at every turn. Then on a trip Boone meets Mike Traheen from Ireland who wants to start trading on the river. With help from Mike and from the other immigrants who come to Marcus Whitman's settlement, Boone and his people are able to buck Hartmann's kind and establish solid futures.