Long, solid, heartening picture of response to times of tension, in a leisurely detailed telling of a man's life at middle age. An emotionally controlled Soot is brought up short in 1914 with the problems confronting him, a hypochondriac wife, the inescapable bankruptcy of his inherited business, a daughter who belies her traditions. He finds temporary solutions, and joins up as a private. The rest of the story traces his rapid rise, his daughter's solving of her problems, his return, along with the son of the local laird, crippled from the war. Ken and Clo (the daughter) find some sort of adjustment; Lawrie, the father, finds comfort in a garden, and breaks the last link with the past. ""Quarrying simplicity out of the hard rock of life.