This story within a story, deliberately deliberate and slowed to the tempo of the turn of the century, assumes that the reader will have the taste and time for an older genre of adventure (there is a Haggard sense of familiarity). Once accepted, he will follow in the footsteps of one Colonel John Parr- ""rebel- eccentric-visionary"", a rogue in a family of eminent Victorian philistines, whose journal is now left to his great-nephew, the only one who might have believed the record it reveals. For the Colonel, an explorer, had climbed to the top of the roof of the world- the Andes- and there had discovered an ancient civilization, with many taboos and talismans, but also with many advanced ideas (their symbolic war with a neighboring village which released hatred without bloodshed). This then is the story of the Colonel's Winter People, disbelieved but never disproved, and it walks a tightrope between reality and hallucination. As such, it is an ascent for the imagination as well and extends the capacity for disbelief in a literate fashion.