Living and loving on the Pennsylvania frontier in 1755 was difficult but the Revolutionary War and British incited Indians made it very nearly impossible.
John Ernst wakes to see hostile Indians sneaking toward the cabin where only his father had risen. He grabs his clothes and rifle, warns his father, and jumps out the loft window to attempt a cross-fire. Too late, he watchs the Indians burst through the door. Seconds later the foggy morning is shattered with screams. George 15, Mary 13, and Jake 12 jumps out the loft window during the attack. George escapes into the woods while Mary and Jake hid in the bushes and tall grass. With only a muzzle loader rifle he is forced to watch the Indians march his mother and two younger brothers from the cabin and up the trail into the mountains. After taking Mary and Jake to safety, he undertakes his mother's trail. Maturing rapidly at sixteen, John learnx the woodsman's craft as well as that of an Indian scout while on the trail. Losing his mother's trail he comes upon another raiding party with a woman captive. The rescued woman, Ida, and he need to recuperate on the mountain from their wounds. There he learns love with Ida, learned responsibility, overcame his feelings of guilt, and became the man he was destined to be.