Intent on finding all he can about the poet, Gabriel Armid, whose works and diaries he has inherited, Hugh Percheron- on a cultural mission to Morelia- carries on his inquiries in spite of hints to stop. With the country in political chaos, his hotel burned, his lodgings are transferred to the home of the former King's valet, Stepanik, and there through his host's wife and her apprentice-dressmaker, Vera, Percheron is at times led on, at times balked in his ambition to find out more of Armid's life and death. Blundering, amateurish, Percheron does not realize what a hell's he has started cooking, until the return of the King when Vera follows in Armid's footsteps in her attempt to kill the King. Percheron leaves the strange country, his questions answered but forever secret. More reality than most to this mythical land, with its politics and people believable and interesting, the search and its disclosures well planned and plotted.