As war is brewing between the Union and the Confederacy, Matthew and Rebecca are travelling west to start a new life in Oregon. Along the way, they stop at a remote trading post, where they meet up with some Cheyenne Indians. Though the Cheyenne are friendly toward the pioneers, Matthew doesn't like them and warns a group of hunters that hostile Indians are preparing for an attack. In the confrontation that results, only Rebbecca and a single wounded Cheyenne warrior named Hawk are left alive. As the winter closes in, and the two are forced to rely on each other for survival, they begin to understand and even feel affection for each other.