The throttlehold of ""organization"" on its men is typified by Marsh Layton in his subjugation to Lee Banning and his empire of Kyprios Copper, for which Marsh is the front. Adrian Layton is rebellious and articulate about JOB castrating Marsh; she gives battle to Banning; as C. A. Monk her poems create discussion and controversy -- particularly in organizational fields -- because of their protest against a ""sexless, job society"". A trip to the desert for Kyprios' TV programs, the disappearance of Banning's son from an eastern school, keep Marsh tied to Banning's interests while Adrian finds in Raoul MacKittridge -- whose heritage gives him a link to the Banning fortune -- the answers to her fear of the desert, the knowledge that the ""dry place"" is more than nothingness. Banning's son is found in a spurious religious retreat. Marsh is confronted with Banning's impossible demands and is able to make the choice between JOB -- and Adrian. A story with sophisticated ambitions, this results in an over-complication of analysis and plotting.