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In 1776, after marrying Gilbert Martin, Lana "Magdalena" Borst leaves her luxurious home in Albany, New York to set out for her husband's farm in Deerfield, in the perilous territory of the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York. Soon after arriving in Deerfield, Lana is startled by the presence of Gilbert's Indian friend, Blue Back, in their small cabin, and becomes hysterical. Gilbert strikes his new wife to bring her back to her senses, and when Lana insists on returning to Albany, he refuses to go and she decides to stay by his side. Unaccustomed to the rugged conditions, Lana has a hard time adjusting, but soon is working the fields of her farm with her husband. At German Flats, the nearest settlement to Deerfield, Gilbert and Lana meet many of the local residents and learn that the revolution that has followed the signing of the Declaration of Independence has now become a full-scale war, requiring the dispatch of additional troops to Boston. When Indians, led by Tory Caldwell, attack and burn the Martins' farm, Lana faints while fleeing and miscarries her first child. Empty-handed, the Martins turn to the widow McKlennar, who offers them a home and work on her land. Life goes on peacefully until word comes of an impending Indian attack and Gilbert and the other men form a backwoods militia to protect their land. Ill-equipped and ill-trained, the men fight off the attack with their lives and Gilbert returns home, wounded and delirious. Soon after, Lana gives birth to a son and a period of peace ensues until the Indians regroup and attack once more. Seeking refuge in the fort, the men and women fight side-by-side and, in the struggle, Mrs. McKlennar is mortally wounded. When the ammunition runs dangerously low, Joe Boleo goes for reinforcements, but when he is killed, Gilbert takes his place, making a desperate dash through the enemy line and outrunning his pursuers to reach the nearest fort for help. Just as the Indians breech the wall of the fort, Gilbert and the troops arrive to defeat the attackers and restore peace to the valley. With the farm that Mrs. McKlennar gave to them before she died, Gilbert and Lana can now start their lives over.