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In the 1880s Colorado badlands, burned-out frontier journalist Mason Donnelly seeks rest in a dinosaur fossil expedition camp backed by financier Charles Highfill. At the site, he meets Highfill s granddaughter, Denver schoolteacher Lily, who dresses him down for his condescending article about Highfill. Lily, a Boston heiress who s spent eight years in Denver, wants a marriage proposal from fossil expert Cecil St. John before she visits her mother back east, and she asks Donnelly to flirt with her to make St. John jealous. Once she kisses Donnelly, however, she knows the footloose reporter is the one for her. Donnelly sniffs out a secret in the fossil camp, and others lurk in wait. Angry miners, a sniper s bullet, an old liaison, and a deal gone wrong all contribute to a convoluted plot. Lily s contradictory thinking makes her a wishy-washy character with only occasional sparks, and too-frequent rehashing of known information dulls the story.