The saga of Dan Kristich continues. First encountered in Around the Horn in 1949 as a five-year-old boy and then in The Purple Bow in 1962 as a seventeen-year-old high school senior nearing graduation, Dan w finds himself, in the early spring of 1973, stuck in Spokane, Washington. He has returned to his West after working for a year in the East as part of the housing administration at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, fifty miles east of New York City on Long Island. After experiencing the decadence that seemed to envelop Stony Brook, Dan returns to the Great Northwest, in this case to The Heart of its Inland Empire, only to find, in Spokane, a Western expression of The Valley of Ashes. In 1962, as American astronauts had begun to explore outer space, Dan wondered about the existence of the next world that was supposed to house the souls of the faithful departed. And w, in the early spring of 1973, those same explorers, following in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, have made several voyages to the moon, never having found any solid evidence to support the existence of such a world. In the absence of any solid, definitive evidence, Dan reasons, life itself may be meaningless after all. Standing on the brink of despair, Dan phones his friend, Charlie, and the two of them embark on a night journey through Spokane's pouring rain. Ride along with them as Dan continues his search for, and finally this time to find, the magic that has the potential to restore hope and vitality to any Valley of Ashes.