The efforts to keep an old but running down prep school, Caldersex, near New Haven, Conn, from dissolution drive the aging headmaster Boderman to desperate means while young Allie Blaine, an alumnus now teaching there, records Bodey's struggles and those of others concerned. The catalyst is W. O. Gravatt. (Wog) who refuses to accept the insolence of young Andy Worth and thereby loses the promise the boy's father has made of large contributions to the school. The scandal that Wog creates when he is rumored to have slept with Bodey's daughter has worse repercussions, for the new Catholic students- refugees from a South American country -- are not permitted to return, and Wog, getting away from his coaching and uncontracted teaching, leaves with his relationship, after Bodey's death, to Allie and Christina in the clear. But Bodey, in dying, has created another core of loyalty and Andy's father, townspeople and the staff find a way to carry on, with Allie assuming Bodey's ""storekeeping"". Ethics and integrity in practical terms in the educational field give this human and theoretical arguments.