As Secretary of State, Thomas
Jefferson has two major concerns: firstly he fears the execution of
Louis XVI will involve America in an unwanted war in support of
democracy; secondly he is greatly alarmed that the unmapped continent
beyond the Mississippi inevitably attracts the eyes of European
When, in April 1793, Jefferson is reunited with Henri Ambergnac and
meets his companions, he discovers they take very little convincing to
accompany two walkers-of-the-forest, whom he regularly employs, to
explore the territory known as Louisiana.
After an eventful journey the friends over-winter in a village of
Native Americans, looked after by a woman they call Dancing Leaves.
Here they meet Blue Child, a man with remarkable abilities who watches
with interest as each stranger becomes part of tribal legend; even so,
the magnitude of the dangers they face is so great there is little
likelihood that all of them will return safely.