There had been three of them at first — Art, Zed, and Dan — three comrades who had drifted westward to make their fortunes when the war in the East had come to an end. The ranch had been built and now the spring round-up promised to be the best yet. It was decided that Art should drive the herd to Wichita, leaving his wife, Katie, and the two children at the ranch with three of the men — Nate, Tom, and Ira — to guard them, for it was Comanche country. And Zed was riding out to Fort Pleasant to meet his bride and bring her back to the ranch. On the sixth day after Art and Zed left, the Indians struck. Nate hadn’t returned from his daily scouting routine when Katie noticed a faint stir of dust at the rim of the rise to the west. It would be at least a week before the other men would be back. Katie feared for what they would find.