At the dawn of Reconstruction, a freed slave comes home to enforce the law. For two weeks, Titus has been running. He is so tired and so hungry that part of him yearns to stop and throw himself on the mercy of the dogs. But he knows what happens to runaway slaves, so he presses on until he reaches a Union army camp. He sneaks into the cook tent and is about to help himself to some soup when the cook catches him. Soup is only for soldiers, he tells Titus--so Titus joins up. Four years later, the war is over and Titus is a corporal, with calloused hands and a heart toughened by battle. He gets a commission to return to Shannon, the county where he was born a slave, to act as the lawman for the reconstructed South. But the people of the plantation will accept no rule from a black man--which means that Titus Gamble's war is not over yet.