They were a small, poorly armed tribe of Indians that had settled in northern California. But the Modoc had two things that set them apart. One was the fury of a warrior had had seen is people murderously betrayed by a US Army Captain. The other was a strange landscape of lava beds along the Oregon border - a place where the Modoc would lure their enemy into a fateful fight.
Captain Jack, leader of the Modoc, was driving his people into a desperate battel against hte United States. Now, as one atrocity leads to another, a cast of the innocent and the damned are swept into the struggle: a San Francisco newspaper reporter hungry for a story, a husband and wife team of Indian scouts who must Hunt Captain Jack down, and a US Army general desperately try8ing to head off an all-out annihilation.
"Listen" Hooker Jim said, rising from the knee-high sage and turning his head to catch the distant sounds. "A wagon is coming along the road, going into town."
"He won't pass," Curly Headed Doctor vowed. When the settler came into sight, the shaman motioned to Hooker Jim to go to the other side of the road and make a diversion.
Crossing the road was enough to get him notices. the settler, on his way to town for supplies, slowed his mules, then reached for a shotgun.
"Who's there?" he called, tryin to find HookerJim in the tangle of undergrowth along the road. Distracted from the point of real atack, he never saw Curly Headed Doctor draw his knife and jump up. Something gave the attacker away at the last moment.
The settler turned and fired, but his shot missed. the shaman's thrust did not. the tip of hte knofe slide between the man's ribs, then drove upaward with sav age power to repture his heart. Blood exploded from the settler's chest and drenched Curly Headed Doctor's knife hand and arm. He jumped into the wagon box and continued slashing at the now dead settler, gouging hte heart from his chest and then mutilating him.
Drenched in his enemy's blood, Curly Headed Doctor stood up in the wagon, threw back his head and let out a cry of victory that was more animal than human.
"We have more to kill," he told Hooker Him.