The enervating close of McDonald's trilogy (Vision of the Eagle, etc.) about Ross Chestnut--who dropped far from his white family tree, grew up among the Sioux, became the warrior White Eagle, later guided a misguided group of Easterners in Oregon, and married Marlette. . . who then left him to return East. Now it's 1846, and there's a joyful Ross/Marlette reunion in Missouri; soon, with Ross' young cousin Cam Galligher, they'll again be heading out west to Oregon territory. The family joins other pioneers, who welcome Ross as leader and guide: at the Kansas River he'll have 20 wagons in his charge. As the wagons rumble along there'll be predictable difficulties: fordings, scalings, dust and heat; Indian raiding parties; a visit from Ross' Sioux brothers, whom he joins in a dance (prefaced by a short lecture on culture and ritual); Ross' sacrificial trade of himself for a captured child (he's saved by a Pawnee princess). But Ross' biggest headache is sexy pioneer Liz Jessup, who almost seduces him after her husband dies: Marlette gives him the silent treatment; Cam's hero-worship ends; and very few believe it wasn't his idea. Still, there are happy, busy times ahead in Oregon--till Cam strays into sex with a half-breed, drunkenness, gambling, and smallpox. . . which will wipe out most of the womenfolk. And there's a final pairing-off of couples, as the Sioux vision is fulfilled and the cousins are reconciled: ""You left here a boy, but you're back a man."" Dull, dull, dull--with stilted talk and soporific characters.