Living and teaching in Steamboat Bend is boring for Nora (Nellie) Leigh Dillon. She took the job over from her mother, when her mothers eyesight began to fail. What she wants is a grand adventure to search for treasure. And her grand adventure knocks right into her, literally, in the form of Army scout Clay Sullivan, on a mission to recover buried gold for the Army.
Dressed as a pirate, he finds out that Nellies grandfather was on the boat when the Armys gold was removed and buried, but he has to agree to take Nellie along to get the map he needs to find the treasure.
If taking the argumentative, clumsy, bike-riding schoolmarm along is what it takes, then so be it. Not in accord with each other, the fortune hunters set off on their adventures.
Along the way, they meet an interesting cast of characters including Blue Buffalo and Nat Arbogast, two old timers filled with stories, and Billy Terrell, an escaped Army deserter set on settling a score with Clay. But more amusing is the gradual awareness between Clay and Nellie, and how they come to love and trust each other. Once Clay has the treasure, will he be satisfied? Where does all this leave Nellie?