Buck Mueller, shanghaied aboard a brig, violently wrenched away from his peaceful life on a Massachusetts farm, unwittingly finds himself at the mercy of a tortuous sea and vengeful captain and crew. After a grueling voyage around the Horn, the brig anchors at Alta California, where Buck manages a harrowing escape. Survival forces him to become as familiar with riata and musket and a stallion's reins as he was with line and sail.
His new life is filled with quiet pastures, clear streams, and beautiful Spanish women. A bountiful California cornucopia lures him into false security. And as sure as nothing is certain, everything he's come to love explodes with the flash of blades, rattle of deadly gunfire, and stench of death.
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