Passion, crime and secrecy- but without murder- this might be called a psychological detective story. The setting in the extreme end of South America leads the reader on to a house, half-haunted by figures from the past, hidalgos and Spanish balls and lovers, mist-shrouded swamps, fine horses and fierce dogs- romantic paraphernalia. The characters include a girl, illegitimate and living as a sort of Cinderella-maid to a beautiful blond cousin, who marries the strong uncouth neighboring landowner. The lovely cousin does not love her husband and drowns herself; and he then rescues our Cinderella from a life of servitude by marrying her. The disentanglement of the hearts of these two people forms the theme of the story, a sort of Rebecca plot and atmosphere, but lacking the interest-compelling spark.