Confused Alsace, on the verge of the present world war, still torn by dissensions inherited through successive and conflicting loyalties. The spirit of the country epitomized in the story of old Burakheim, to whom his vineyards meant more than his steel works, but who held fast to the idea of independence of state control, Alsace for the Alsatians. In his works there was his cousin Berthelin, scrupulously honest, but foreseeing the necessity of state intervention if defense were to be secured; there was Siguenan, another cousin, who thought he could run things and play into German hands if the money and the power lay there -- and who found he couldn't and there were others, a secretary, a grandson, in the illegitimate line, both frankly in Nazi pay. A story of modern Europe in one small group, lost in the maelstrom of faith betrayed, loyalties denied, interests confused. As a story, it is inadequate. Storm Jameson is once again carried away by her idea.