This book is a tale of Western life at the time of the rush to California in 1848. Dr. Gillispie and his daughter are joined on their way to the coast by David Crystal, who soon falls in love with Susan. She promises to marry this poetical youth, though she is not ardently in love with him. But a more powerful man comes into her life. Low Courant, at first repulsive to Susan, eventually wins her love and admiration through his manliness and strength. Her father, who dies on the way, wanted Susan to promise that she would marry David at once, but this she refused to do. David becomes insanely jealous of the other man. He attacks his rival, and in the struggle is thrown over a cliff. Courant alone knows of this, and even he believes the young man dead, while in reality he is rescued by another party. Susan and Low are married, and together make their way to the Promised Land.