Will Whitaker's eleventh summer is one thrill after another.
A cattle drive with a famous Texas Ranger, a Comanche trying to steal his horse, a buffalo stampede, thirst-maddened cattle crossing eighty miles of alkali desert to a dangerous ford on the Pecos River—it's almost more than Will can endure. He gets to work as a drover, riding his best friend Buck, a big buckskin stallion, until he is captured by a vicious Comanche war chief. And only his worst enemy can rescue him.
Two Feathers—half white, half Comanche—runs away from his tribe when he learns his uncle killed his white father. He sees Will's horse and knows he is destined to have him, this great warrior's horse. Camping alone and following the winding River of Cattle across the High Plains of West Texas, he tries again and again to take him. Will foils him every time, but Two Feathers comes too close and is captured by the drovers.
The two boys, both fighting the grief of their mother's deaths, both without a true home, face death and danger separately, but eventually they must learn acceptance of each other's differences or their mutual mistrust could lead them to disaster on the brutal Texas-New Mexico frontier.
Will they become brothers or mortal enemies?