.....go back to the greatgrandfather that began the farm in Illinois 75 years earlier; to his son and then Dunstan's father and the common estate that is still a sore point with other branches of the family; and through to Dunstan's own life and the events and changes that affected it. His love of the land was contrary to the Barrs' talent for making money which his older brother Gilbert improved on through the years; his choice of Dollie was proved wrong and his interest in Marie, a disrespected cousin, was rewarded by her suicide. Thus his marriage to Mary proved better than anything he had hoped for so that even with the panic of 1893 when he was called in to prevent a run on Gilbert's bank, his new life in business did not interfere with his security within. But the core of the family is broken, with Gilbert's second marriage, with Dunstan's children growing away, with the town growing up and out until the farm is surrounded and it is only with the return of the two living children in the 1929 crash that he feels the links are still bound to the pattern of the past. A solid land and family chronicle, this takes its story out of the variation within blood lines and keeps it well bolstered with familiar incidents, and characters in slow procession.