We find young Perley Gates in the Black Hills where he has found his grandfather. Unfortunately, his grandfather is barely hanging onto life after an encounter with Sioux Indians that took the life of his partner and caused him to abandon his claim. When his young grandson finds him, Perley has hopes they can return to his claim to recover the gold he had hidden there. It is not to be, however, for the old man is not strong enough to recover from his wounds. Failing fast and knowing he would not make it back to recover the fortune in gold he and his partner had worked for, Perley’s grandfather drew a map for him before he died and charged him with the responsibility of recovering the gold.
Perley willingly takes on the task, knowing how badly the old man wanted to make up for having abandoned his family in Texas when he charged him to find his fortune and take it back to them. With no way of knowing the actual value of the gold, Perley was determined to find it and take it to his family. No matter how large or small the treasure turned out to be, it would serve as his grandfather’s legacy to the family he had abandoned.
The recent discoveries of gold in the Black Hills has resulted in all manner of mankind rushing into Deadwood and Custer City. Perley is to find that to keep his promise to his grandfather is not as simple as following the crudely drawn map. There are many obstacles in his path, both outlaw and Indian, and at one point, Perley finds himself wondering if he is to meet with the same fate that claimed his grandfather.