A migrant worker is discovered buried in a local quarry with an antique gold coin in his pocket near La Crosse, Wisconsin. Lt. Jim Higgins begins to unravel a murder that will take him back into Wisconsin's early history. During the investigation, Higgins meets a local archaeological savant and treasure hunter who tells him a wild tale about a U.S. Army payroll that was stolen on the way to Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien in 1866. The payroll has never been recovered. Is the coin on the dead man part of the stolen treasure?
Higgins hesitates to base his investigation on a wild tale, but he has nothing else to go on. As his team desperately attempts to make sense of the facts, the killer strikes again. The investigative team realizes the wild tale may be the only explanation for the two murders. In a race against time, Jim struggles to identify the killer-and find the elusive gold treasure.