At mid-life, four years a widow, a homestead left in her care, Jessie Tate faces yet another challenge. Her dying brother, Gabe, has lost his ranch and intends to sell his herd of prize crossbreeds to a Texan to cover gambling debts. On his death-bed he confesses the debts and asks Jessie to manage his affairs. He reveals, as well, that his teenage daughter, Kitty, is really Jessie's child, taken from her when she lay near death at the child's birth. Heartbroken by her father's impending death, the loss of the ranch, and driven by a sense of injustice, Kitty spirits the beloved crossbreeds and their magnificent thoroughbred sire into the wilderness. Knowing Kitty and the herd will face untold dangers, Jessie makes the tough decision to find Kitty and trail the herd two hundred and fifty miles across the wilds of Montana to her home in the Bitterroot Valley. As she faces the hazards of the wilderness, she also faces the challenge of earning Kitty's trust and helping the girl resolve her grief. At the same time, Jessie must contend with Sam Dillard, the persistent Texan who has a claim on the herd, and an increasing hold on her heart.