"Jim Ugly was a big sandy mongrel, part elkhound, part something else, and a large helping of short-eared timber wolf . He was a one-man dog-Dad's dog." When Jake's dad decides to "die" to escape the bounty-hunter looking to collect the $25,000 price on his head over the matter of some missing diamonds, Jake is left fatherless and companionless except for the big sandy-colored mongrel, Jim Ugly. But Jim Ugly is in no mood to spend time with anyone other than his missing master. When Jake realizes that the two of them have something in common-they both want to find Jake's dad-they form a search party of two and take off across the mountains to San Francisco. Sid Fleischman, winner of the Newbery Medal, brings the last days of the wild frontier to life in a rip-roaring adventure for younger listeners.