This story starts in the summer of 1958. The protagonists, Kate and Ned, eleven and twelve years old, meet and become friends in the tiny community of China Creek, located at the confluence of Ahbau Creek and the Cottonwood River. Through no fault of their own they become targets of a nefarious group wanting to rob the local store and post-office. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police manage to arrest "the gang" after this group has a violent altercation with the kids, and they are sent off to prison.
The story culminates in the summer of 1962 in the Peace River Area, in the general area around Chetwynd and Dawson Creek. Kate and Ned have an encounter with "Willis" who has managed to escape his incarceration, and has located Kate for revenge.
When the Cariboo highway changed locations in 1958, the original community in the story lost its school,its store, and its community dance hall. The grocery store and post office burned to the ground in1957, and was immediately replaced with a temporary structure that served for several more years. This little hamlet slowly withered and died on the vine with the relocation of the Cariboo highway between Quesnel and Hixon in 1958.
The second community in the story, the Village of Little Prairie was re-named Chetwynd in the summer of 1958. The Pacific Great Eastern railway had just arrived and the town was a typical construction town during this time period.
The surrounding country side was teeming with deer, moose and wild chickens of several different varieties. A few elk herds were starting to proliferate in this area as well.