An Indian brave stands poised to shoot a white deer drinking from a pool of water in the moonlight. It is only a dream — a recurring nightmare that haunts fifteen-year-old Janet Carson — but it is a dream that will change her forever.
Janet, one of the few Anglo teens in the New Mexico art colony where she lives with her mother, feels isolated and alone. For some reason she is drawn to Billy Honcho, an old alcoholic Indian who begs some money from her. As they get to know each other, the meaning of Janet's dream begins to become clear to her, and Billy becomes the brave in her dreams.