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When well-bred Mary Rose follows her dream to rowdy 1882 Tombstone, she quickly discovers that her sheltered life has not prepared her for the challenges of being a piano player in The Bird Cage Theater. Help comes from her landlady, Nellie Cashman, proprietor of The Russ House. Though vastly different, the two women both must thrive in world outside of society’s norms. Upon leaving Tombstone their lives diverge, but come together again with old friends to hike the treacherous Chilkoot Pass and seek their elusive fortunes in the in the 1898 Klondike gold rush. Together they deal with a lover who turns out to be a murderer, imprisonment in a Mexican jail, near death falling into the icy Yukon River and disappointment when their quest for gold is dashed. They postpone romance with the men who love them, until for one, it becomes too late.