Old Shatterhand is given the task of rescuing a victim of a trickster. His journey takes him from New York to New Orleans, from New Orleans to La Grange, and from La Grange to Mexico. On his way he meets Old Death, the most respected scout of the Wild West, and a staunch supporter of the Abolitionists, who helps him in his quest. However, the South-west of the United States is in turmoil: the Ku-Klux-Klan emerges in the Southern states, including Texas. There is a French intervention in Mexico against the elected president, and a war breaks out between the Comanche and the Apache. Old Shatterhand and Old Death have to manage their journey under these conditions. Their skills, and their moral convictions help them to get to Mexico, where a gang is about to attack a silver mine. By then Winnetou, the chief of the Apache, also joins them to help his blood brother, Old Shatterhand.
This unabridged English translation retains the exciting adventures, and the strong moral conviction of May's original book, while modernising the style, and editing parts that were erroneous or may evoke bad associations. With this editing the core of May's world, the action, the dreaming of heroic deeds, and the struggle for a kind of justice have become more emphasised, and more accessible to the modern reader.