Emerson Sharp is eighteen years old. His father makes his decisions as if he were a hired hand, a slave, a draft horse working Pa’s farm. On the eve of his arranged marriage, Emerson makes an independent decision to visit a young woman of his choosing and is forced to flee for his life from her homicidal brothers. Fate leads him into western Missouri and the Civil War, where everyone is intent on killing him. He is unable to hide from the war and unable to find love. Perhaps he should have listened to Pa and married sharp-tongued Deborah Simmons three years ago.