Long and discursive, this is a novel about patterns -- of reason, patience and justice, or of hysteria, fright and disaster -- and about the wilderness that man lives in. nder Pellman, through unexpected circumstances, has become the Governor of a Protectorate and has required a good reputation with both natives and whites. But a nationalist party, a religious party -- and some Soviet poison -- are at work and, with the scandal of a soldier and a ""sister of the temple"", storm signals are raised. Pellman argues responsibility and sobriety, tries to persuade that there is nothing to fear in the coming Feast of Bama, and is shunned by the President and the military, who make their plans for safety in spite of his pl A flight to the Foreign Office gives him something to deal with and a visit to one of the key men shows promise of success. But the emotional climate has gone too far, with evacuation and military patrol; Pellman is attacked, firing begins and the one day revolt takes its toll. Pellman's ethical morality at his trial is blurred by his marriage to Jewish Lisa, by the prejudice and politics of his hearers and judge, and he is heartened at the measure of his successor. The author of One (1953 and an alternate selection of the Book-of-the-Month) is less Orwellian and more oratorical here.