Against a background of the Oregon Territory tensions of 1846, this is the story of a pioneer family and their curious association with the Cayuse medicine woman, Lahita. When young Sam Laurance stumbles across the old woman, who is in hiding, fearing the vengeance of a tribesman whose daughter she has failed to cure, he comes to her aid. Repeatedly he and his family perform services for her which save her life, and they are repaid with their lives when the marauding Indians attack. Somewhat biased in behalf of the white cause, the author gives but perfunctory justification for the attitude of the displaced Indians. A well written adventure tale with a full if prejudiced historical context.