10-year-old Winnie Foster is tired of her family and is thinking of running away. One day, while in the woods, she meets a boy about the age of 17 drinking from a spring. The boy tells her that his name is Jesse, and he refuses to let Winnie drink the water. After this, she is kidnapped by Jesse's family, the Tucks. The Tucks tell her that the spring Jesse drank from gives eternal life to the drinker. Since their entire family drank from the spring, they are all immortal. A man eavesdrops on this conversation and goes to the Fosters with an offer to trade Winnie's location for the Fosters' woods, which contain the magical spring. They agree, and a constable goes with the man to retrieve Winnie. When the man arrives at the Tucks' house and tells them his plans for the spring, Mae, Jesse's mother, takes her husband's gun and swings it like a club at the man, killing him. The constable takes Mae to jail, and they learn that she is to be hanged. The Tucks and Winnie are frightened because if Mae is hanged, their secret about eternal life will be revealed. They soon come up with a plan for Winnie to take Mae's place in the jail cell while Mae leaves town with her family. Jesse gives Winnie a bottle of the spring water. Find out that if Winnie drinks the spring water or not!