A tale of Netherlands New Guinea and the outcome of a life of isolation is told by Tempe Jervie, who carries out her dead husband's dreams of returning to the islands. There her butterfly collecting is helped by friendly residents and her meeting with Kurt Long results in an invitation, accepted, to visit him on his 26 acre island, 40 miles off the coast. Little by little, as he dictates his memoirs, as he deals with the Papuans, as he tolerates no break in the self-imposed rituals and disciplines, Tempe is convinced she is the guest of a paranoiac and conquers her moral and physical fears with the knowledge that she must not deviate, or he caught breaking his rules. Through a hurricane, a stopover of a Dutch ship, a sick baby and a burned worker, Tempe is helped by the house boy and the malicious friendship of the local magician, and outwits Long to leave safely when the ship arrives to take her to the mainland. An effectively low pitched, first person story that makes the most of both setting and character.