... has beliefs, and the courage to fight for them, and such a man is Chad Walters who returns to farm the river bottom country left him by his father. In so doing, he must oppose the surly, clannish, lawless ""gumbo rats"" who resent and isolate an outsider- and particularly the Boones who live on his land. Chad marries Emma Boone who forfeits her family when she falls in love with him- and the years bring an unequal distribution of sorrow; Emma's brothers leave the country, her father dies alone, and her first child is stillborn- so that she escapes him for a time in despondency. A second child reaffirms their love for each other and their marriage- but Emma's recurrent fears are fulfilled when the youngster is killed riding the mustang his father has bought him. So that Emma, alone again in her grief, is ready to leave Chad- this time for good- until she is brought to realize that his suffering, even while self-contained, is as great as hers.... The earlier (1953) Ramey was a moving story of a man and a boy; this too has tenderness, and a wisdom which goes beyond understanding, as it shows a man whose strength makes him unapproachable and a woman who is to an extent the victim of that courage. The bare, ""mean"" Chekow County country lends a further discipline.