Jim and Alec volunteer to take their herd to the marsh grass in the Michigan woods when drought destroys the hay crop on their farm. Twenty miles from their parents, the boys spend the long winter fighting off wolves and intruders until their supplies reach a dangerous low. Almost sensing their predicament, the wolves descend in packs challenging the brothers' ingenuity each time. Unable to remain in the cabin another day, the boys take their changes and begin the long descent down the trail loaded with a season's catch and followed by their cattle. How they survive a final clash with the wolves climaxes a well written adventure story which deftly stresses the capabilities and resourcefulness of pioneer days.