The compression of a little over a day surveys the life -- and death -- of Alexander Cockrell, ""the first capitalist of Dallas"", and his ""Methody woman"" wife, Sarah Horton, and relies on old family papers, local events and history to build a humanly termed tale of a marriage, an ambition and a town's beginning. Alick, tamed from wild vagrant ways, is bettering his town, enlarging his enterprises and, while gaining friends, is making an untrustworthy enemy -- Andrew Moore, recently elected marshal and smarting over Alick's suing him for debt. This day, in 1858, Alick surveys the past that tags behind him, chivvies his Sarah, gets a hint of the future from Nicholas Darnell and, securely safe in this town which holds his heart and his work, flouts Moore on a spite arrest. Paying the court's fine, he challenges Moore to a fist fight and, when Moore reneges, heads for his guns -- only to find Sarah has hidden them. Armed, he is shot down by Moore and it is the little people of the town, the newcomers who have been helped by Alick, who come to give Sarah her determination to carry on all of Alick's dreams. This author has proved that there is an alchemy between theme and treatment and her followers will find her absorbed touch here.