Charlie, a young German immigrant arrives to the United States in the 1860s, and takes up a position as a private tutor in St Louis. However, driven by his thirst for adventure, he joins a team that is surveying the land for a new railway line. The line would lead through the land of the Apache, the Comanche and the Kiowa. His thirst for adventure is quenched as he hunts for bison, catches mustangs, kills a grizzly, and finds himself in the middle of the war between the Apache, and the Kiowa tribes. He also gains admiration for his skills, his character, his moral values, and receives his new name: Old Shatterhand. During these times he meets the young chief of the Apache, Winnetou. This unabridged English translation retains the exciting adventures, and the strong moral conviction of May's original book, while modernising the style, and editing parts that were erroneous or may evoke bad associations. With this editing the core of May's world, the action, the dreaming of heroic deeds, and the struggle for a kind of justice have become more emphasised, and more accessible to the modern reader.