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Young Jake Stanton hates city life, and he hates his forced profession of "doctoring" as he calls it. He decides to go to the Rocky Mountains, much to the chagrin of his domineering father, a surgeon at the Jesuit Hospital in St. Louis. Jake's perception of who he is changes forever when he sees the Rockies, and leads him through an epic life of adventure. He sees it all; the gold rush, the senseless slaughter of settlers by the Blackfeet and Crow Indians, the horrors of manifest destiny, and the ultimate destruction of the Indian nations at the hands of a duplicitous government.