Madeline Hammond, a rich Eastern socialite, is bored with her life--too many parties, golf games and smooth-talking men. She escapes her usual life by traveling to New Mexico to see her black-sheep brother Alfred, who has a cattle ranch. Her unheralded arrival late at night means she is accosted by a cowboy and witnesses a murder. Despite this rocky start, the longer she stays, the more she learns to love the land and people.
Written in 1914, the prose is more florid than today and contains terms which currently are not politically correct. The main appeal--the beautiful description of the land and appreciation for the Western life--makes it still readable as a Western classic. It was made into a movie four times, the last with Alan Ladd, JoAnn Sayers and Victor Jory in 1940.