A story of escape, of a secret that drove a man to insanity, for Ridsel Craig, romantic, quixotic, youthful poseur, marries Denise, after a happy affaire. Getting a job in Paris, unwilling to expose her to the hard sophistication of his hometown circle, he is shocked into a state of apprehension when he learns that she is fourplus, third degree syphilitic, needing constant medical attention in the hopes that she will never become insane. Forced to return to Illinois, he and Denise withdraw to the family farm where a visit from his doctor brother completes the unbalance that the time of worry, emotional dependence on Denise has been building up. Taken to the State Hospital, Rid's cure is slow but finally earns him a trip to town to see Denise, but the visit sends him back to the Hospital for refuge. It is an old malingerer who opens his eyes to his weaknesses, strengthens him in his determination to conquer the world he must face. Hemingway overtones in the desperate romance, telling impact in the human terms of the social disease, and a sympathetic understanding of the eccentricities of character. Disputable, readable.