When recent Harvard graduate George Tanner returns home to Tahlequah in the Cherokee nation, he finds the town bustling and accommodations scarce. The council is in session and everyone is in town.
Captain Go-Ahead Rider, the district sheriff, offers Tanner immediate employment as a deputy. Rider senses trouble as some key issues come up for vote before the Council. The big issue-and the most controversial one-is whether the railroad should be allowed to come into town.
Mix Hail, the swing vote on the issue, suddenly disappears, and Tanner finds himself smack in the middle of big-money politics and his own nation's concerns. As the two lawmen sort through a pile of blackmail, revenge, and bootlegging, they uncover a nasty plot by some of the town's leading citizens. Tanner learns how to be a lawman, while at the same time experiencing the joy of being home, in his own land, with his own people, speaking his own language.
Robert J. Conley was a Spur award-winning Cherokee author. He was the Swquoyah Distinguished Professor in Cherokee Studies as well as the Founding Director of the Tsalgi Institute at Western Carolina University. He wrote about 80 books, including Colfax and Quitting Time, and is known for introducing strong Indian protagonists to the Western genre.He is also the recipient of the Western Writers of America Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Contributions to Western Literature.