Adam Biedermann arrives in Medicine Hat in April 1919 to work on his uncle's farm. Uncle Ludwig has homesteaded in the dry, treeless region north of Medicine Hat, opened to settlers about ten years earlier. The settlers are mostly German from Eastern Europe who homesteaded around Flat Valley about a two- day wagon ride from the city. Adam doesn't speak English but has no problem with communication since the community is mostly German, until he meets the beautiful Gypsy girl Roni Chervenko, The Spanish flu comes to the community with consequences for Uncle Ludwig's family. Adam becomes involved in a romantic triangle as he struggles to learn English. A few wealthy men own Model T's or similar automobiles but Adam rides a mule named Daisy. The railway comes to Flat Valley causing a minor boom. Many families are living in sod houses. Medical help is two days away but impossible to reach in the winter. Home remedies, often based on superstition, are practiced. Women are bound by mores of the past century. This is a normal life for the children who knew no other life.