A portrait of the close meshed lives of a small Southern town, the bitterness kept alive by long memories, familiar gossip, and the constant flicking of old sores, that has a simplicity in its picturing of a long term quarrel, and its regional qualities. The story deals with the enemity of One-Eyed John and Petticoat John, as the former is wounded while fighting for the Union, and returning home finds that his rival, safe at home, has won Lydia. Then One-Eyed elopes with her- Petticoat gets a chance in Chicago and wins hard success as a teamster. Battle is joined -- and it takes the Chicago Fire to bring about reconciliation. And with the next generation the two men break again over the marriage of their children, and they feud to the end.