Shoshana is the daughter of Bella, a black house slave at Tanner Plantation. After Shoshana turned sixteen years of age, her owner, Eli Tanner, made arrangements to sell her to a neighbor plantation owner. His wife, Clara, a staunch abolitionist, makes arrangement for Shoshanna to be taken to Florida until the underground railroad opens up again, and she can get to Philadelphia, to freedom. Flying Eagle, a young Seminole warrior, steals her heart, and she happily settles into life with the Seminoles. Meantime, Eli has offered a large bounty for Shoshana's return. Whitey, a slave bounty hunter, and his partners kidnap Shoshana and take her back to the plantation in Georgia. In 1835, the Second Seminole War begins and after many heartbreaking years of death and hunger, Flying Eagle leads Seminole women, children, and old men deep into the Pahay-okee. (Florida Everglades). Chickees are built, and the women scratch for food much like the wild animals that share the harsh, wet wilderness. Their lives are hard, but they know it is the only way to survive and remain on their homeland. In Pahay-okee, the children would be safe and learn to laugh again. They could teach them to respect the Great Breath Giver's gift of earth, and they could hear the beat of the drums and dance. There, in the swamps of South Florida, where the white man was afraid to venture, they survived, and they never surrendered to the United States.