This might better be sub-titled ""A Fantasy"", for this is a strange fusion of past and present, the dead and the living, the real and the legendary, the violent and the idyllic, with some Peter Paul Rubens' pastoral scenes thrown in. (P.L. caution, here). Briefly, it is the story of the re-settling of a deserted fortress village (in France) by an odd group of people:- Rousset Barthelemy, the leader, Joannon, the woodsman, a blacksmith, a baker, Janine and her bastard child, a flier escaping the war, an Englishman, student of the past, whom one suspects is a ghost. The story revolves around Janine, persecuted by Le Noir, piratical figure out of the past, and father of her son, whom he kidnaps. Janine has fallen in love with the flier (is he, too, dead?) -- and finds some peace in the village, until the kidnapping and the subsequent vengeance. The village is destroyed -- almost all parish -- the past repeats itself. A morbid sort of ghost story.