Joaquin Bridger is a police officer in a small town when his wife and daughter are killed. He blames himself and then begins a homeless, wandering life. One day, the man who was responsible for the death of Joaquin’s family robs the town bank and kidnaps a young girl, and Joaquin gives chase. More
Joaquin Bridger is a former soldier who settles in the town of Redwood, becomes a police officer, marries, and has a daughter. He and his family live there peacefully for ten years, and then tragedy strikes.
His wife and daughter are killed in a confrontation with bank robbers, and he blames himself. He quits the police force and begins a wandering, aimless life around town, walking wherever he goes—silent, brooding, filthy. He exists like this for five years.
The majority of people in town see him as a man who is mentally disabled. Few people dare bother him.
Then one day, John Slaughter, the man who was responsible for the death of Joaquin’s family, comes back to this town. After robbing the bank with his fellow criminals, he kidnaps a young girl as he gets away. Joaquin recognizes the man, and gives chase. Thus, the tale begins.
Slaughter is no ordinary criminal. He has bases of operation across the country, and he is involved in nefarious activities with foreign and domestic criminals. He never stays too long in one spot, making it extremely difficult for Joaquin to track him across the vast wilderness.
Sylvia, the girl Slaughter kidnapped, is nearly nine years old when the story begins, and as she meets other girls who were also taken by Slaughter, she learns how to survive as she awaits rescue.
Back in the town of Redwood, Sylvia’s mother, Juanita, does whatever she can to search for her daughter. She also knows that Joaquin is searching for Sylvia, and this brings her some comfort.
Joaquin has been helped, from the beginning of the search, by two men who believe in him—a U.S. Marshal, and a police officer from Redwood.
Joaquin searches for the child across several Western states. As he tracks Slaughter, he also deals with the loss of his wife and daughter, and his failed life the last five years.
Along the way, as he regains the rich frontier heritage of his forefathers by learning to co-exist peacefully with Nature, he meets a big man called the Giant. It is the Giant who teaches Joaquin how to live in peace and harmony with oneself; it is the Giant who teaches Joaquin simply how to live.