Amanda lives in Salem during the century after the witch trials--a heritage which promises to be more relevant than it is to her discovery of a haunted house and her fear that stepmother Lillie will run off with the disreputable former beau who is hiding out there. Amanda seems fairly capable of handling all this, but in the end it's one of her two handsome suitors--coincidentally the brother of Lillie's old flame--who steps in to set everything right, confessing that his ingenious mechanical toys were responsible for the house's strange properties and saving Lillie and Amanda from a fate. . . well, who knows. Now that Amanda has her man she concludes that he will ""route rumor and hearsay and half-formed fears. He would dispel clouds for me always."" Poppycock.