Henry Hywel Hughes is the mildly amusing non-hero of this entertaining book, and a fairly successful hack writer of spy thrillers that capture his imagination more than he cares to admit. Henry's life proceeds with its usual small-scale entertainments -- he manages to extricate himself from his fiancee Veronica, an upper-class, militant, obnoxious anti-bomb agitator whom he abhors, and becomes attached to the charming, penniless young Bertie. Suddenly he is recalled into the British army and an altercation Britain is having in the Castillian Islands, with Russia involved. Henry and his childhood friend Charles desert to Wales to battle over the pros and cons of pacifism. Henry, having killed a man once while in the army in Cyprus, would rather be Red than Dead, while Charles decides to return and fight. Tired of hiding, Henry chooses jail over battle, hoping to return to Wales and Bertie in the not-too-distant future. Muddled moral principles confuse an otherwise lightly ironic and sometimes touching book that abounds with wonderful descriptions of Welsh farming life.