Hugh Champlain, well heeled in his seventy dollar shoes, is an old-fashioned mining engineer who made his all the way to the top in and around the Mesabi range. He's also an old-fashioned father, taken aback and put out when his only daughter elopes with ""a nobody."" A widower for a few years, he is lucky enough to be able to marry Kay who falls in love with this ""dear, utterly good, kind man"" but somehow never really adjusts to his world--or the fact that Hugh refuses to budge. Take his stand on taconite, the new ore of the future once the Mesabi is depleted--one to be manufactured rather than mined. . . . All of this business-family, family-business story covers some years before World War II with a postscript in 1964, and by this time you don't need to be reminded that Mrs. Banning is just as old-fashioned as Hugh. Nonetheless, it's pretty dull in Duluth where most of this takes place.