On February 17,1909 in the dark heart of winter, the great Apache leader, Geronimo, dies of pneumonia after spending 23 years as a prisoner of war of the United States. His death makes front-page news in the New York Times.
Days later, a young Marine recovering from battle wounds in Cuba, learns about Geronimo’s death. He is known to the Marine Forces Command as Corporal Frank Kidd but his real name is Chaco, and he is Geronimo’s nephew. Orphaned at birth, Chaco was toughened by the cruelties of the white man’s Indian school, and hardened by three years of guerrilla warfare in the 1906 Cuban Pacification Campaign. Now, he is at the end of his enlistment and returns to Fort Sill’s Apache POW camp where he plans to take his adoptive mother and sister west to freedom.
Yet upon his return, long held secrets are revealed: Chaco is not Geronimo’s nephew, but, in fact, the old warrior’s last son. And his father’s final wish was that he be buried ‘in the country that knows my name’. To fulfill this dying wish, Chaco must first free his sister from a brothel in the nearby township of Lawton, and dig up Geronimo’s bones
The escape plan goes awry, and in freeing his sister, two white men end up dead. Once an honored hero, now a hunted outlaw, he and his sister race west in a stolen motor car in a desperate bid for freedom. As the last free Apache, he must pay the price of new won freedom with blood, in one of the largest unrecorded manhunts of the 20th century.