Mary Ingles is pregnant when she and her two sons are captured from their homestead in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains by Shawnee Indians. Her husband, Will, narrowly escapes death during the attack. Impressed by her grace under the pressure of captivity, Wildcat, the Shawnee chief, confers special privileges on Mary and her children, eventually proposing that Mary become his mate. Surprised by her attraction to the handsome brave, Mary nonetheless opts to remain faithful to Will and engineers a plan for her escape. Separated from her children, Mary joins another female settler, and together they embark on a harrowing homeward trek. Her odyssey comes full circle more than a decade later when she is finally reunited with her long-lost children.