The wild and free world of the mountain man is quickly fading into the past. For Titus Bass, leading his family north to winter with the Crow people, the journey is a sad one. He must save an old friend from death and rescue his daughter Magpie from cutthroat traders. He will try to free a wagon train of innocents from its unscrupulous leader, and he will try to come to terms with his long-lost daughter Amanda, bound for a new home in a faraway land Bass himself will never see.
But when he arrives in the land of the Crow, he finds old friends–and old ways–dying out. Determined to live out his final years in peace, Bass comes to realize that on the changing frontier, survival is never a certain thing. Soon he will face his greatest lesson and hardest challenge of all–one that might cost the last of the legendary mountain men his life.
From Publishers Weekly
In this 30th book (after Lay the Mountains Low), award-winning western novelist Johnston puts the final arrow into his remarkable mountain man hero, the resilient and ever-resourceful Titus Bass. Johnston’s beautifully crafted Titus Bass series chronicles more than 30 years of trapping, hunting and Indian fighting in the great Rocky Mountains and on the plains of the early American West. This last installment covers six years (1847- 1853) and sees the scarred, aging, one-eyed mountain man struggling to find peace and sanctuary in a changing world. The fur trade is finished, free mountain men are few and white immigrants are flooding the pristine and untamed wilderness. Bass knows his independent way of life is over, so he takes his Indian family north, hoping to settle with his wife’s Crow relatives. Bass’s final journey, however, will not be easy. Accompanied by Bass’s old saddle pal, Shadrach Sweete, the clan must rescue Bass’s Indian daughter from rape-minded Frenchmen, defeat a cowardly gang of wagon-train cutthroats, fight a losing battle against Brigham Young’s Mormons and battle blizzards, snakebite and wolf attacks. Titus Bass is a believable, enduring character, a solitary man who lives by his wits, believes in mountain justice and is willing to use rifle or tomahawk to settle a score when he knows right is on his side. This bloody tale of a man who values his family’s safety above all else is one of the most evocative and powerful books in the series. Bass fans will be energized by the novel, but sad to see the last of the old mountain man.