The windswept Montana plains rolled with empty monotony beneath a freeze-dried sky. Along a fence line that stretched into the far-flung horizon, old snow formed low drifts. A brooming wind had brushed clean the brown carpet of frozen grass that covered the rough-and-tumble roll of the plains and held the thin layer of soil in place.
There was no room in this bleak, rough country for anyone not wise to its ways. To those who understood it, its wealth was given. But those who tried to take it eventually paid a brutal price.
Its primitive beauty lay in the starkness of its landscape. The vast reaches of nothingness seemed to go...