Timothy Murphy's exploits have passed into legend and this fictionalization of his career is based on what is known of the man who achieved fame in the Albany region during the Revolution. Starting in Pennsylvania in 1775 with Tim a 24 year old intent on hunting, fishing and trapping rather than the conventional farming, the story follows his unwelcome pursuit of the worldly Marian Greene, his surprise at seducing her and his determination to return from the wilderness to marry her and settle down. On the trip he helps to make a double barrelled long rifle, rounds up stolen horses and returns to find Marian married to his rival, Bogardus. To get out of jail he joins the forces of the United Colonies of America and with the Northumberland Company of Thompson's Battalion, Pennsylvania Rifles, marches on to Boston. There the Shirt Men endure the unexciting months of the siege, and Tim becomes one of the little understood, ""loners"", is with Morgan in the battles of Freeman's Farm where his marks- manship and knowledge of Indians helps toward the victory. On to Schoharie, into the Seneca country and back to Schoharie, Tim goes through raids, meat hunting, is part of the revolt at Middle Fort and tries to bear with his new wife's Dutch parents. It is not until the end of the war that he is able to return to her and a future as a settler. The problem of a hard to handle personality, the long call of the deeds of the sharpshooters who made up an ""unorganized, undisciplined and disgruntled Army"", and the military as well as civilian conflicts are here presented in full detail and with a sense of warm reality.