“Honor, truth … the lot … they’re just words, Harry. They
don’t exist. I gave my life to them, and they don’t exist.”
Walsh tracks the relationship between Major James Walsh of the North West Mounted Police and Sitting Bull during the Hunkpapa Sioux's five years in Canada where they had fled after the battle at the Little Big Horn in 1876. Walsh was well loved by his men, sympathetic to the plight of the Natives within his jurisdiction, and critical of Canadian government policies towards them. He admired the Sioux's fortitude and Sitting Bull's statesmanship. Respect and friendship grew between the two men. Because of this Walsh comes under increasing pressure from his superiors. He is torn between his sincere desire to support Sitting Bull in his legal arguments to remain in Canada and the Canadian government's desire to appease the American government by forcing Sitting Bull and the Hunkpapa back across the line. Walsh eventually capitulates to orders from Ottawa under threat of losing his command, however his betrayal of Sitting Bull sows cynicism, corruption and impotence in the career he had hoped to preserve.
Note: Some double casting possible.