Twelve-year-old Andrew Laney, an orphaned Mormon from San Bernardino, California, covers 3000 miles in hot pursuit of his prize gelding Sunday, stolen from him by Confederate Captain Coleraine. The trail takes Andrew down to Mexico with some Spanish amigos, across the desert and through Texas with Rebel soldiers, and on through Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia in the company of a photographer (actually a ""ferrographer"" who takes pictures using iron plates) named Dr. Le Grande. The good doctor is anxious to record history first-hand so the two head north until they land smack dab in the middle of the battle of Gettysburg. Through his travels Andrew is certainly witness to momentous events, but it's all water off a duck's back. His sole concern is finding his horse and, lacking the gritty humor and gumption that brand Beatty's best characters, Andrew comes off not so much determined as obsessed. His comment that ""history could be horrible; battle surely was"" is about as reflective as he ever gets. When he finally does find Sunday, now half-blind and belonging to a poor widow, and sees his monomania for just that, about all readers can feel is that they too have gone along for a rather pointless and tortuously long ride.