The Frontier of 1874, with Wild Bill Hickok and Chief Crazy Horse both haunted by the same white whale of a nightmare: an albino buffalo, symbol not only of the vanishing herds and a way of life but also of death itself. Hickok has just returned from play-acting on Eastern stages with Buffalo Bill. Now 37, he wears blue-tinted glasses to protect his fading eyes from the ""Deep Serene""--the result of a gonorrheal infection--and his various bullet wounds have brought on premature rheumatism. He wants to retire and just be a professor of picture cards, mining gold at a poker table--but he's so nervous he has wild dreams of a white buffalo attacking him while his rifle is frozen. Meanwhile, Crazy Horse has become the Indian Messiah and is searching for the white buffalo. Both heroes track the sacred beast to a great cave where it lives with its cows. Wild Bill wants the pelt as a moneymaking display item, the Indian wants it for wrapping up his dead daughter, to ease her way across the great stars. Their showdown with the demon entails a delirium of action and horror. A strong story, with harsh, funny dialogue.