Thomas Edwards, former
Confederate prisoner-of-war has journeyed to California
with his family. His father John, whose once prosperous Louisiana
plantation was destroyed during the war, seeks help buying a hacienda with the
help of friend, Don Carlos. For Thomas, the Southern California
heat wards off bitter, haunting memories of freezing prison camp life on
Johnson’s Island, Ohio
near the Canadian border.
At the request of the Jesuit
Antoine Doiron, Thomas escorts Franciscan Padre Rodrigo and catechist Clare to
the San Fernando Valley to minister to it’s Christians.
The former soldier accepts trips to escape his mother’s prodding to commit to
beautiful Monique. He loves Monique but feels he isn’t ready for marriage. He
also feels the pull of the valley and its warmth, but learns Valley has shadows
of its own.
Thomas is loved by a second
woman, secretly but when the hunt for Miguel, accused of murder, ends in
tragedy, Thomas flees into mountains and desert. Here he confronts the tortured
ghost of his past.