During the fall of 1811, a great comet approached the earth, terrifying the people who lived under its threat. Then in December of the same year and the spring of 1812, the San Madrid fault exploded with three large earthquakes,
Living through these experiences, Hart MacAlpin must deal with the threat of a British takeover of the vast Mississippi Territory, the murder of his brother Bruce, and his growing feelings for a young spinster from Mobile—Lessie Renard Lord. Since betrayal by Bruce, and his ex-fiancée, Ada Albright MacAlpin, Hart has determined never to become enamored of any woman again. Fate determines otherwise.
Bruce’s death complicates Hart’s search for the agent in charge of the takeover. Outlying farms are being pillaged, people murdered, property stolen. The only answer is to ferret out the British-paid leader working undercover in the small capital city of Washington, Mississippi. With the aid of his childhood friend, Tchula, a minor chief of the Choctaw nation, he begins his hunt.
Moving from the already wealthy and growing town of Natchez along the notorious Natchez Trace toward Nashville and from there down the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers to the Mississippi via broadhorn, the compelling characters, vivid imagery, and dual plots unfold the life and times of Hart MacAlpin.