This is the story of Jamshid, the carpet-mender of Meshed, who was an upright man, and who murdered the Mullah who told him that his motherless daughter was a slut. The book tells of his reverse pilgrimage in search of sanctuary after that deed. He first tries to give himself up, but the policemen will not listen. By the time they have learned of his act, he has taken to the desert, where the old murderer Ali finds him and befriends him. They move toward Shiraz with Hassan the camel, but before they reach their goal, Ali is dead, his heart pierced by the same shears that killed the Mullah, although Jamshid is not to blame, and the camel too has succumbed. According to Ali's wishes, Jamshid tries to bear the body to his wife at Shiraz but is forced to leave it in a cave; when he brings news of Ali's death he finds love waiting, but the law still pursues him and he flees to Tehran, where a brothel becomes his refuge until a final horror drives him further... Poet Kinnell is merciless in his evocation of the stark, surreal desert with its Zoroastrian death middens and haunted ruins, noncommittal toward the pitiful men making their way across it. His Black Light casts no shadow; it burns with a hard flame that masks compassion. Limited.