Zack Winslow, The Wounded Yankee, had served the Union Army for exactly one year and been wounded twice, surviving the battles of Bull Run and Shiloh. But when he is sent home, Zack discovers some devastating news about his fiancee and his livelihood. Having seen the worst of war and tasted the disappointments of love and friendship gone sour, Zack decides he must get away from it all. Striking out for the wilds of Montana, Zack resolves to live as a hermit in Alder Gulch. On one hundred acres in the shadows of the Rockies, he can build a cabin and raise sheep-the promise of a better life, free from the entanglements of other people. But Zack can't seem to keep them away from his door. Yet how can he take on these unwelcome people? But if he doesn't provide for them, who will?
Late in 1896, Cassidy Winslow leaves his family's ranch to pursue his own fortunes but he is hardly prepared for life in New York. He hates his job and tires of city life, but falls in love with a rich young woman who treats him like an interesting toy. She finally breaks his heart, and Cass heads for the West Coast with the determination that he'll do anything to get rich. When news comes to Seattle of the gold strike in the Klondike, all that holds Cass back is his debt of care to a man named Fletcher Stevens. The dying man's offer of money to fund Cassidy's trip to the gold fields of the Yukon is conditioned by a promise that Cass will take the man's daughter with him to share what gold they can find. Cass agrees, and when Stevens dies, he goes to tell the daughter the news. Serena Stevens had been placed in a convent by her father after her mother's death, and though she hates it there, she has little choice. When Cass comes and tells her of her father's offer, she can't be talked out of going, and so the adventure begins. The Klondike Is a Cold, Hard World Where Death Is Only a Bullet Away!
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