At seventeen, Dot Pickett is young to be taking on the role of trail boss on a cattle drive. But Dot's life has been hard, and he has learnt to be brave, resourceful - and occasionally ruthless. Now he has successfully led a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas and is setting off for home with the bag of gold owed to the Texan ranchers. But Dot has fallen foul of a notorious outlaw family and he knows that they will try to ambush him. Then when Dot goes to the aid of a young woman, the gold disappears and he embarks upon a quest to retrieve it. Dot's search takes him on a long trail of danger, deception and intrigue, leading him from Abilene deep into the bayous of Louisiana, where his courage and determination are pushed to the extreme in order to survive and reclaim the cattlemen's gold.