A remote outpost of Empire in the unremunerative wastes of the African desert in the war year of 1943, finds three young Englishmen and their old-line Colonel faced with a tribal war over water hole rights. There's Captain Turnbull, who rose from the ranks and is despised for it by his superior officer, Milton, a political officer, dominated by his native mistress. With Milton's murder, Sole, the weak Liberal, succeeds him but is equally incapable of meeting the situation. In the end, all are finished,- two dead, Turnbull disgraced; only the Colonel remains, untouched by the doubts and despairs of his subordinates, yet uneasy over the pulse of change. A brief novel, with a situation such as a Kipling, a Conrad or a Joyce Cary could have handled with insight and skill lacking in this book.