Sixteen-year-old Benson Sadler meets a most unusual man in 1870. Chained to a tree, the man seems destined to hang for murder. In response to the boy's curiosity, Hawk Eyes shares his story of bad luck and misadventure. As if a master storyteller sitting comfortably by a campfire, Hawk Eyes relates near-death escapes, living with the Cherokee, gunfights, the death of friends and loved ones, and a quest for revenge. Ben can see vast landscapes painted from the words of the doomed man and feel the wild history of the West come alive. Will he have to watch Hawk Eyes die at the end of a rope?