, a beautiful Viennese ex-actress widowed by World War II, comes to to be the wife (sight unseen) of Andrew Ingram, a wealthy middle-aged sisal grower. But no sooner is she off the boat than she falls victim to the physical attractions of Stewart Navarre, a dashing ""White Hunter""(as author and characters alike delight to term him). Navarro is secretly involved with the scheming Indians and the Mou-mans, and not so secretly involved with Monenga, a fiery and gorgeous mulatto. These central characters, as well as many of the lesser ones, the day-to-day life on the plantation, the landscape, and various assorted belligerent leopards and elephants, are all drawn with such skill and vividness that the reader will wish the author had found a more original, less melodramatic vehicle for them. When mulatto climinates white hunter and is in turn eliminated by deus ex machina elephant: when Mau-maus and Indians are neatly nipped in the bud so that paternalistic Portuguese peace may reign again, and when Carlotta, after some doubts as to whether or not she should immolate herself by becoming a nurse in a leper colony, comes home to ingram to grow sisal happily ever after, it has all been too clearly and quickly foreseen.