This damp and blowsy novel about a powerful Southern congressman's dark night of the soul could have been hilarious satire if pushed a bit further. Congressman Timetheus Denney, born on the floor of a rotting cabin in Yell Country of doubtful parentage, had toiled as Congressman from southeast Arkansas for ten years for his dream -- a mighty Denney dam, draining the waters of the Ozarks. After making deals, trading and selling, the dam is about to be passed when civil rights legislation ominously gathers momentum, and Timotheus must choose between dam and damnation at home. The defection of his son David, to become a Freedom Rider who falls in love with a lovely Negro girl Cleo, produces another troublesome dilemma for Denney. Finally he is forced to trade his civil rights vote for the dam, and his career ended, comes North to receive a ""Christian of the Year Award."" The boys on Capitol Hill are old friends: the crabbed, wise Speaker; the Jewish liberal from New York; an assortment of hard drinking, poker playing lawmakers; and a fruity old guard Southern Senator whose lingo could raise the sacred dome a foot. Makes one wonder who is minding the store.