Ginnie and her hosts the Porters, who have moved to South Carolina, aren't the first to see the mystery light on Lonesome Bay Road but they seem to be the first white folks willing to investigate what the road's black residents (including the Porters' cleaning woman Phoebe -- even though ""I've been up North, so I know better than some"") seem afraid to discuss. There's a legend that the light is carried by the ghost of a slave seeking his wife, but Ginnie thinks it has something to do with voodoo and the old black root doctor who seems to have ""put a root on"" Geneva Porter. Then 20 year-old Jim Mountjoy has a car accident when he gets too close to the light, and Methuselah Tune, a young bearded white storekeeper on the road, whose ""longish hair (is) held by a band across his forehead,"" warns her that the light -- which once enveloped him in sparks and summoned him to expiate the sins of his slaveholding ancestors -- is dangerous to whites. Remembering the author's treatment of hippies in Cathy and the Beautiful People (KR, 1971), it's no real surprise when the light turns out to be car headlights from a secret drug-running spot operated by none other than Methuselah Tune. Ginnie and Geneva mystery fans of course won't mind the naive tourist's-eye view as long as that blinding old light keeps flashing.