Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory, nineteenth-century edge of the future. Fear, greed, and real estate turn the windmill into a hanging tree. Each train into this booming railroad town unloads a cargo of carpetbaggers, entrepreneurs, seekers, Civil War veterans, and strong, lonely women -- like Eliza Pelham. Good mother, drunk and unfaithful wife, Eliza stands at this juncture of raw change and random justice, caught in a reality of callousness and redemption. As Eliza searches for her stolen children, she discovers three allies: an Irish saloon girl, an Apache man who reads Melville, and La Llorona, the weeping mother, fierce in a black dress, thousands of years old.