1929 and tens of thousands of immigrants from Europe are flooding into America, especially New York City. Some of the children are orphans. In October of that same year, the stock marker crashed and the business of American slowed to a crawl. Millions of people lost their jobs. Men fought each other for positions in the hiring lines for jobs paying $2 for toiling from daylight to dark.
In the deep, dark forest of northern Minnesota on the Canadian border, wolves chased their prey and kill and feasted. Trappers pursue the wily predators in the deadly game of, “If I catch you I will kill you and sell your pelt”.
Paul Boccard is a young trapper and farmer. He and his mighty wolf hound Brutus pursue the wolf packs and set baited traps to snare them. One wolf, the powerful and handsomely colored animal he calls Black Face, is his special target.
Black Face evades all traps and invades the territory of the fierce wolf pack of the Rainy River. His goal is to steal a female from those savage wolves and start his own pack.
Alice Childs, a strikingly beautiful fourteen year old girl, and her mother board a ship in London for America. During a black night in the voyage across the north Atlantic, Alice’s mother is murdered. Now an orphan and penniless, Alice arrives in New York where she must survive on the dangerous streets by her wits and courage. She is arrested for stealing food to feed her starving little friend Gracie. Released into the custody of the nuns of the Catholic Church Children’s Aid Society, she is transported to Minnesota on the last of their Orphan Trains. She falls into the hands of people brutal and vile and must kill to save her life. Frightened, hungry, freezing, she flees through the snow covered wilderness of Minnesota and trying to reach sanctuary in Canada. She is pursued by the sadistic rapist Taggert.
During her journey through the storm lashed forest, Alice encounters the half crazy Will also fleeing north to Canada, the black faced wolf that is drawn to follow her because of her unique scent, and Paul and his mighty wolf hound Brutus. Exhausted and freezing, Alice reaches the frozen Rainy River where she and Will, the black face wolf, Paul and Brutus and the killer Taggert meet in a final battle for survival.
Note - From 1854 to 1929 an estimated 150,000 homeless children, orphans and abandoned children, were shipped by train from New York City to farms in mid-west America. There are an estimated 1,500,000 descendants, most of them alive today, who trace their roots to the boys and girls who rode the Catholic Church’s Orphan Trains.
"From a patch of bushes among the trees and down wind, Black Face stealthily observed the two humans at the fire and eating. His mate lay beside him in the snow and also watching the two. He had quickly identified the odors coming from the humans. The female human scent, strong now that he was close, came from the smaller of the two. As he observed her, she made the
sounds one human made to another and left the fire and walked off among the trees.
Black Face signaled his mate to remain hidden. Then he rose and stole among the trees and ever closer to the human female. He stopped instantly when she halted and looked back in the direction of the fire, now hidden from her view by the trunks of several trees. She began to unbuckle the belt to her pants.
Without a sound, Black Face crept closer to Alice.
Alice looked about one last time before dropping her pants. She flinched sharply for a huge male wolf was but a dozen steps away and creeping through the snow toward her. Her pulse was suddenly pounding. She hastily buckled the belt.
The moment her eyes had fallen upon the wolf, he stopped and stood with his muzzle pointed directly at her. He was motionless except for the movement of his chest as he breathed in her scent. His face and back were black, his sides gray, and that graded to reddish tan below. His brush of a tail was curved slightly upward. His eyes were yellow with black centers, and those eyes were fixed unblinkingly upon her.
Alice started to whirl around and run. She caught herself up short, if she turned her back and ran, might that provoke the wolf to spring upon her. She must remain very, very still and look the wolf in the eyes. If she showed no fear, might that keep it from attacking her? She was awfully scared and wished for her walking staff, that she had left behind at the fire, to use as a club."