Will Harris, a legendary gun fighter and one of the last living Confederate veterans, turns 100 on July 3, 1939. A parade is held in his honor, and newspapers and magazines from across the country send reporters to cover the event. Charles Case, a reporter from the Dallas Morning News, is one of these. He finds much more than he expected: two families involved in a blood feud that goes back to a train robbery in 1868; and to complicate matters, a boy from one of the families in love with a girl from the other. The book has an epic, mythical quality, reminiscent of Raintree County and Look Homeward, Angel.