In 1865 at the battle of Five Forks, Colonel Rutherford's luck will run out. He is wounded there taking a sharpshooter's bullet in his left shoulder. Refusing to stay in a Confederate hospital and against doctor's orders, the colonel starts off on horseback for his North Carolina home.
Along the way a suffering Rutherford meets up with a deserter who wants his horse. After his fight with the deserter Colonel Rutherford is now bleeding badly. He makes it to Rebecca Morgan's farm and while trying to get water from her well, faints from loss of blood.
Rebecca takes him in and nurses Colonel Rutherford back to health and he is grateful to her for her care.
But all is not well for Rebecca. She is beset by scalawags and carpetbaggers who will go to any lengths to cheat her out of hearth and home. Somehow, Rutherford must find a way to help her preserve her home and way of life. In helping Rebecca, Rutherford finds that love is the most unpredictable adventure of all.
After a while, Rutherford leaves and Rebecca is torn between leaving for St. Louis and staying in North Carolina to wait for Rutherford. No reader will ever forget her decision.