Captain Jack is the leader of the Modocs who live on the California/Oregon border. The whites move the Modocs to a reservation in Oregon where the Klamath tribe already lives, and the Klamaths don't like the Modocs on their land. The Modocs then decide to move back south, but the white people don't want them there either. When the government decides the Modocs must go back to the reservation, Captain Jack and his people escape and go further south to the California Lava Beds. Captain Jack meets up with another Modoc tribe headed by Hooker Jim who has killed twelve white people. Captain Jack decides not to turn Hooker Jim over to the army for the murders, so they fight the army and win. Unable to reach a peace agreement, Hooker Jim gets Captain Jack to say he'll kill General Canby if the army doesn't allow them to return to their original home. Canby turns them down, so Captain Jack kills Canby. The army then sends troops to destroy the Modocs. When Hooker Jim is captured, he gives up Captain Jack to save himself, and the army tracks Jack down and hangs him. Captain Jack is betrayed by Hooker Jim, and Jack is hanged for the crimes that Jim committed. Hooker Jim and his small band go free for their betrayal of Captain Jack, but it will be short-lived.
A complete description is found in Chapter 10.