From the reservation life of last year's The Whipman Is Watching, Dyer turns to an earlier North American nomad band of eight, strict in their adherence to ""the way"" which, among other restrictions, does not allow women or children to speak directly to the hunters. In such a society, a boy crippled by a bad back would be left behind when the group moves on; but determined Shutok, Dyer's young hero, limps and crawls after the others from move to move. Then one of the two women has a stillborn child and Shutok, blamed for bringing on his own evil which is now infecting others, is exiled. He is joined by a girl the group has taken for a slave, and together they survive a hard winter. When the band returns in spring Shutok has a jaguar pelt and shaman's tricks to prove that he can contribute to the group in his own way. Though this story, unlike The Whipman. . . , has been told many times before, Dyer gives his particular group and its way of life a grim reality and makes Shutok a figure commanding sympathy and respect.