A prologue describes the location and beautiful physical setting of the story and sets the western theme of self-reliance and willingness to fight for survival in a hostile world.
Colorado Palmer-Winston is the attractive young Mayor of a small city struggling for prosperity in the rural backwater of the Cowboy State. The success of her ranch, her city, her marriage and even her physical safety are threatened by the criminal activities of aggressive strangers who flood into the area in search of mineral riches. The laid-back, friendly cattle culture is contrasted with competitive amoral ambitions of mining industry newcomers. Crime appears, along with environmental degradation of rivers, prairie and ranchlands that change the landscape of the new mining region. Social and political issues of the Korean War period impact everyone affected by the uranium discovery and many lives are changed forever. The story of Milo Harris, a black cowboy, and his love affair with a white businesswoman explores racial bias of the pre-Rosa Parks era. You may have been born too late remember the days before color television, computers and cell phones but there was a rich culture and technology that foreshadowed the rapid progress of the latter half of the century.