The story is so deeply buried in the meticulous account of the life and program of a Lapp regiment that at the close one has only just discovered that the story has a certain half-formed unity. A young officer, Wolmar, falls in love with his brother Douglas' bride. Knowing she cannot safely bear a child, she still risks the danger, for the sake of carrying his child, and dies in childbirth. Wolmar sends in his resignation. That is the story -- spun thin over the length of a normal novel, and laden down with a detailed -- and sometimes interesting -- picture of the life of the dragoons.