Another of Simak's quest stories, this one set not in a post-holocaust world but in an alternate England that never came out of the Dark Ages. Men of intellect remark that ""by now, in the twentieth century, there should be some sign of progress""--but all such signs are nipped in the bud by a force known simply as ""Evil,"" which heads off all attempts at, say, crusades or voyages of discovery. A purported eyewitness account of the ministry of Christ sends young Duncan Standish off on a journey south to ""Oxenford,"" to see whether the manuscript can be authenticated in time to keep Europe from ""plunging back again into the ancient darkness."" En route, Duncan and his stalwart companion Conrad pick up the usual Simakian retinue: a failed hermit, a witch, a goblin called Snoopy, a former demon called Scratch, and a ghost called Ghost. Although traces of some earnest purpose are intermittently visible, the story is only marginally more successful than Simak's other recent ventures in this decidedly watery and ersatz vein.