Can a person born into a nomadic culture find a home? When Michael Mulligan and Maria Burke flee Ireland during the famine, she leaves her tyrannical husband, Nathaniel Burke, and Mulligan abandons a secret society of Irish freedom fighters. Maria dies of ship fever on Grosse Isle, Quebec. Then, in San Francisco, Michael Mulligan's new wife dies in childbirth. When the Civil War is declared, Mulligan abandons his five-year-old son and becomes a cavalry officer. Mulligan survives Gettysburg and meets a mysterious nurse with her own secret. A prisoner during the fall of Richmond, Mulligan finds post-Civil War times to be violent and depraved. A decade later, aware of Cheyenne and Sioux forces uniting, Mulligan tries to save his son from Custer's cavalry. Michael Mulligan, 80, blind, and reconciled with his son, finally returns to Ireland to buy the rotting Burke mansion and burn it to the ground. Nathaniel Burke's son and aging Irish assassins await his arrival. Has the passage of time brought forgiveness?