Once again Helga Sandburg summons up the homeliness of a farm kitchen, with the wonders of the woodland and creatures of earth and air hovering close outside it. Marn Coombs is the Wizard's child, who at seventeen is quietly rebelling against the powers, natural or occult, of a father who has nothing but her good at heart, and is willing to use all his arts on her behalf. Schoolmaster Grim is determined to discover whether his powers are indeed occult and whether Marn herself is a witch. Marn keeps her own counsel when she carries Henry Blackburn's child, going to care for Dutchman Willem's kitchen. Meanwhile her father's spells are at work, and after various miscarriages and a wizard-hunt, provide a rich young husband willing to raise her windfall child as his own. There is a pale glimmer of Hardy in this tale, which in view of its rather stolid sentimentality, remains as an anachronistic auxiliary to the mainstream of contemporary fiction.