Jeffry Billings is living out his romantic fantasy of being a pioneer in the American west. But his fantasy came crashing down around him.


Originally from London, Jeffry Billings was headed into the American frontier to live his romantic dream of being a pioneer. He hired one of the best guides in the area, Cheyenne Bodie, to lead him and his party to the Owl River Valley where he intended to settle with his wife Lavinia.

The mundane trip started off slowly, and little could shatter Billings' rose-colored outlook on the west or his self-image as a brave pioneer. Not even his wife's precarious health shook his plans to settle in the wilderness.

But Billings' true colors started to show when the group was attacked by Comanche, and those colors were various shades of yellow. During the initial attack, Billings rode on ahead, leaving his wife and the others behind as he found shelter in an old abandoned way station. Embarrassed, Billings tried to cover his cowardice by blaming his horse.

Later while they were surrounded, Billings contemplated riding away during the night to save himself. Unknown to him, Lavinia sensed her husband's plan and cried silent tears.

With his idealized notions of the west shattered, Billings finally admitted his cowardice and fears to Lavinia. He admitted that life was harder than he expected, and he had endangered not only himself but his loving wife in the process. He begged for Lavinia's forgiveness.

The couple survived the ordeal after Bodie defeated the Comanche chief in a life-or-death battle of courage.