Jack MacLaren and his partner, Charlie Longbough, set out from the Rocky Mountains, bound for New Orleans, with a season's worth of beaver pelts and high expectations of the wealth they will bring. But, unbeknownst to them, a war is brewing with England, and the British had blockaded the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River, halting all commerce in or out of the river. Jack's and Charlie's furs are nearly worthless, and their visions of wealth evaporate.
Broke and discouraged, they head north for St. Louis, hoping to join up with a fur company bound for the far western mountains. But dangerous, ruthless men, and one of the most cataclysmic events of the century, conspire against them and death hunts them at every turn.