The Nebraska territory is a lonely place for young Jamie, who longs to be a Pony Express rider, but only manages to take care of their horses. Still, he has the ponies, and his father, and before he knows it he has Thad, a boyhood friend from back in Iowa.
Jamie has always found Thad fascinating, and soon the two young men strike up a friendship that might just turn into more. War looms on the horizon, though, and even as Jamie is realizing his dream of riding for the Pony Express, he knows his life is about to change drastically. Will he find a way to keep all he holds dear, including Thad?
“Jamie! Jamie boy, if you don’t get that behind of yours out here right now and help me with these supplies…”
Jamie heard his pa hollering all the way from inside, curled up on his straw tick under the eaves as he was. “Comin’, Pa!” he yelled back, struggling with his trousers. He’d just meant to get a little shut-eye after chores were done. Meant to do some wash while the sun was shining. 'Cept that never happened.
He tugged his trousers on, hopping on one foot as he shoved the other down the wrong leg. He near to killed himself, stumbling out the door. “If you just wait--“ he started to say, looking up as he fastened the buttons on his trousers over his backside instead of his front.
Weren’t just Pa that stared at him. There were three others with him--two riders, by the looks of them, and a big-shouldered fella that Jamie swore was--
“Thad?” Backward trousers forgotten, Jamie ran toward the tall man that sat in the seat of the second wagon. “Thad Richardson!”
“Jamie boy!” The blond fella swung down from the wagon and grabbed Jamie in a huge bear hug, squeezing him tight around the waist. “I betcher pa you wouldn’t remember me, but damned if you did.”
“'Course I did,” Jamie muttered, feeling his face flush. “It’s… you’re Thad.”