A New York village is to be drowned to expand the watershed and through a syndicate the inhabitants are to be moved to a new area. But Leona Carpenter's sentimental attachment to her home moves the local drunkard, Stephen Greene who adores her, to offer to move it. In spite of jeering disbelief eight other owners become part of the plan that calls for all his engineering ability which has not been used since his unacknowledged father rejected him. The obstacles that confront him -- the mechanics of moving the houses over the flats, across the river, through the ravine, flood, winter, and labor scarcity --are a background for his wife's decision to leave him, the crackup of the Carpenters' fortunes, the winning of outside cooperation, the blacksmith's vicious actions that affect his wife, a young girl, Stephen and Leona's husband, and for the proof, to Stephen, that man should not and cannot live for himself alone. Although the time is 1875 there is no particular period feeling but the magnitude of moving nine houses offers a new type of problem with a full story value.....if you overlook a deep-dyed villain.