In 1837, Caleb Landers flees Taos, New Mexico in order to avoid the Mexican Army. He and his long-time friend and skillful scout, Thomas Lyon, take a pack train from Taos to Bents Fort on the Arkansas Riverthe only outpost between Santa Fé and Independence, Missouri.
Caleb's pack train makes it to Bents Fort. There Caleb has to decide where to gothe United States or the new Republic of Texas where a revolution against Mexico is being fought. Believing he's still wanted in the United States for killing the man who murdered his father, Caleb opts to take his chances in Texas, even though he knows he'll face fearsome Indians and other dangers enroute.
Lope de Saavedra, whose Indian name is the "Flower Watcher," joins Caleb's pack train at Bents Fort. He wants to spend his last days at the mouth of the Brazos River on the Gulf of Mexico where the bones of his family members lay buried. He is very old and wants to be with his loved ones when he dies.
This story is about a life and death journey across Texas, northwest to southeastTaos to Galveston Bay. For Flower Watcher it is his death march. For Caleb and his associates, it is the start of a new life when they open their trading station near Houston, the capital of the new Texas republic.