Its 1877, and Lily has made her way alone for many years. Her love of books has earned her a place in one of the many frontier theater companies that the railroad has made possible. Now her company has been engaged to play at the finest new theater in San Francisco, for an indefinite run of Hamlet. But Lily cannot leave her past behind. On the train to San Francisco she encounters the railroad detective Brand. Brand is searching for the man who sent a death threat to the head of the Southern Pacific railroad; and that man may be a member of Lilys company.