Ty Calder was not brought up on Calder land. He has had to learn the ways of ranch life. One of those more than willing to teach him is Jessy. Jessy is a tomboy who has grown up on the land and can and will do anything any man can do.
Ty is determined to go off to university and learn about agriscience and new ways of ranching. There he meets Tara, beautiful and wise in the ways of business and politics.
The ranch needs some influx of capital. Will Ty, lured on by Tara agree to let the coal be mined on his property?
First Line: "The windswept Montana plains rolled with empty monotony beneath a freeze-dried sky."