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An army patrol led by Lieutenant Shadrak Pickett is making its way through the Pioneer Mountains in southwest Montana.
Its purpose is to deliver the monthly payroll to Fort Wisdom.
Everything changes when a solitary traveller is encountered who claims his horse has died from a snakebite.
The man asks for a ride to the next settlement. Being an old colleague of the officer, the request is granted.
But Jake Rankin's plan is to steal the payroll in such a way that Pickett takes the blame.
A cunning means of deception by the brigand ruins Pickett's career by having him drummed out of the army for cowardice.
Can the wronged man avenge his disgrace and bring Rankin back to face justice?
A quirk of fate in which innocence and guilt become entangled must be overcome for him to succeed.
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