America, 1881. The north-western frontier, where old sins cast long shadows.
The consequences of Robert Rathbone's vicious betrayal of a fellow soldier fifteen years before resurface, just as he's about to stand for the first election to be held in the new settlement of Buffalo, Wyoming.
Rathbone has spent the years since leaving the Army building a ruthless reputation across the American Northwest. His pursuit of power, wealth, and status are all driven by his desire to acquire the one thing that has eluded him since that earlier time, and the reason for his treachery: the love of Josie 'Sugar' Dunaway.
Shadows from the past track Rathbone to Buffalo, a town where two-fisted men and street-savvy women survive by the strength of their wits, and the speed of their guns.
A Dixie bounty hunter, an English nobleman's son in exile, and a cow-hand with changeable allegiances, complicate each character's pursuit of their own goal.
'1881' demonstrates the enduring power of love, betrayal, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the American frontier, where life is played out in the raw, and where the land and its people were transformed into an enduring country and distinct American character.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master