Not wanting to fight against the Americans in the War of 1812, Eben McNinch decides to travel north of Fort Gibraltar in the Manitoba Territory to trap beaver. He befriends a Cree Indian tribe and he is allowed to live and trap on their land. Eben soon becomes a legend and is called “Big Red Beard Not Afraid.” After the end of the War of 1812, the Canadian Parliament has concerns about President Jefferson’s proclamation of America’s Manifest Destiny and its right of expansion to the Pacific Coast. Eben McNinch, because of his wilderness knowledge and amiable relations with the natives, is asked to accompany and guide a military party along the 49th Parallel, the border with the United States, to ascertain and stop any American settlers or trappers from homesteading in Canada and annexing the land for the United States. Eben’s grandson follows two Leet brothers south into the United States to avenge the brutal death of his folks. But the Leet clan isn’t going to simply let the grandson, Eben, get away with killing one of their own, and Boufford Leet swears an oath to avenge the death of six Leet men.