A hearty chronicle of the fortunes which attend a tavern in the town of Llagas, California, begins in 1947 when a painting behind the bar owned and operated by Dan McClatchy proves to be a Rembrandt, brings him celebrity and the promise of much money. McClatchy, a simple man of no taste, acquires a fondness for the picture he tags Dutch and remodels the Traveler's Rest into the Lost Dutchman Tavern where it will hang- and lend prestige. The tavern, an expensive operation, does not justify McClatchy's dreams of glory- but other chance circumstances attract a passing notoriety. Arline, his daughter, is involved in a policeman's shooting- and later the suicide of a prominent family's son-after frequenting the tavern and one of its waitresses- brings on a suit to revoke McClatchy's liquor license which broadens into an extensive smear. At its termination, McClatchy says goodbye to his tavern but not his picture, moves on to a San Francisco hotel where Dutch is hired- along with his services... Humble people and the quirks of destiny, this is by no means similar in character to the earlier The Mudlark, but has its moments of genial sentiment and sadness.