The ""city"" is Louisville in the hectic early days of the Civil War when Kentucky was standing firm on neutrality, flying two flags, and organizing guerilla bands to execute violence which the authorities ignored. But the story -- set against this period and the emotional conflicts of a group which dominated the social aspects -- concerns the private vendetta against Murray, lovely widow lately returned to the city of her youth and the home of the step-father whose peccadillos were unknown to her but had cost him his standing in the city. That his sympathies were Union could have been regretted but forgiven; that he flaunted his abolition, sentiments to the extent of using the services of a free Negress, Sabra, in his clinic (and it was whispered in his bedroom as well), this was unforgivable. And poor Murray found herself ostracized by the women who had been her friends- sought out- and therefore further condemned -- by the young blades of the town. Her own loyalties suffered considerably, but at the end, the action of a visiting doctor and the open confession of a soured spinster as to her gossiping tongue, saved the day. And Murray found she could bury her own Union sympathies sufficiently to give her love to a Rebel. Stronger on regional and period than on plot or characterization, but pleasant reading.