In 1870 Abilene is a destination for cowboys, cattlemen, prostitutes and a family of doctors attempting to practice an unorthodox type of medicine learned in Europe, a technique that involves manipulation of the spine to effect cures and ease minor ailments. Acceptance for their ways has been hard to find, and it's made more difficult by the fact that the Corbett family is Irish. The Corbetts have known their fair share of prejudice and do not share the same attitude toward Indians as those they meet in Abilene. Young Maura Corbett is fascinated by the angry, wounded Tasunka Sapa, (Black Horse) brought in by his worried elderly father to have two bullets removed. Eden Corbett is equally fascinated by a beautiful woman in a wheelchair he meets inside a store then learns she is housed inside a brothel. His offer to treat her is rescinded once he learns her address, but his father and sister force him to reconsider, and soon all their lives are changed by the dangerous people and harsh life of the burgeoning town on the Kansas prairie.