Open range, beautiful mountains with clear flowing streams covered with stands of ready timber, not to mention rumors of gold, were all reasons the Wasican - the non Indians, came to the Black Hills. Unfortunately, by the 1868 Treaty of Laramie, the land belonged to the Lakota Indians. Everyone else was trespassing and didn't belong. Still they came, confident that if it came down to a confrontation, the United States government would protect them against the wrath of the tribes. Split Creek was among the towns that sprung up in the Dakota Territories. In the late summer of 1873, Bill Anders is one of those who came to this place, although he came after the town was established seeking answers to questions that had bothered him for many years. Shortly after his arrival, Bill takes over the job of sheriff, a position that needed filling and which gives him the freedom to pursue his own interests as well as those of the town. This is also a convenient position for a man with secrets of his own who doesn't want too much scrutiny of his own actions. You see, Sheriff Anders is a man who knows what is going to happen before it actually occurs, or at least often does. What disturbs him most is when events don't happen exactly as he recalls they should. Several of the town residents are curious about this outsider who appears unexpectedly and suddenly moves into a position of authority. Foremost among those with questions is Amy Walters, a young and attractive reporter for the town's only newspaper.
Despite her concern and probing, at first everything seems to fall in line for the sheriff. It's only a matter of time however, for events to take unexpected turns. Bill can't decide whether he is the cause of the changes or whether there are forces at work he doesn't understand. As he struggles to keep matters under control, his life becomes more complicated when Amy finds clues that he isn't what he professes to be.
The lure of gold in the mountains of the Black Hills is one motivator for events that are transpiring, but what else is at work? In the end, Bill learns the answers to more questions than he had been originally seeking.