"Everything in here is true and if it ain't, it ought to be. I was born Nathanial James Buchannan and been called Buck from that day on. I lived most of my life on the frontier, from a cabin in the wilderness, to the Cherokee village of my father's family, to the cities in the east, to the mountains in the west, and back again. I've done some things in my time; fought many battles, some to kill those who needed killing, some to win freedom, been brother to a few, loved two women, lost a lot and gained more. All the while, I followed my spirit guide, my brother, the wolf. This is my story, my history, the best I recall. I've lived a good long while, some 88 years. The dates may be off some, 'cause I don't remember so well now. This writing will probably kill me. It is the hardest work I've ever done. Mine's a good story, and though I don't like the writing, I do like the telling, and I hope y'all enjoy the reading. I've sure enjoyed the living."