Of all the travelers who put up at October House, an inn based loosely on Traveler's Rest in ante bellum Georgia, young Phyllis Randolph chooses to fall in love with dashing Darien Richards--a transparent villain whose plotting turns out to involve treasures rifled from Indian mounds and stolen titles to Cherokee lands. Phyllis, who tells this tale, projects a simpering dullness, her role in the unfolding intrigue limited to the passive witnessing of certain peculiar events, and her naively bestowed affections automatically transferred to Darien's more upstanding brother. Even less sympathetic is her limited view of the inn's black servants (slaves), especially of Cottie the cook who gives her grandchildren names like Sugar, Spice, and Oil and who never washes the pots and pans unless strictly supervised. Perhaps such attitudes are typical ones for a young woman in 1828, but the period background here is so thin that they seem merely gratuitous. Lukewarm gothic over all; not even the heroine's illusions are made inviting.