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The book opens when Dr. Covelli arrives in Boise after twenty years away from the West. Chris discovers that some of his acquaintances from the past are by now old, have died, or are no longer active in the circles he knew them from. Chris decides to make new friends. Through a phone line, he meets a certain Hank, who is seeking a special friend, and Chris is receptive. A relationship develops. Hank tells about his own past life, having grown up inside a community of polygamist Mormons in Colorado City, Arizona. Chris becomes acquainted with Hank's first wife, Marcia. Her character is exposed. It so happens that Marcia makes Hank beholden to a commitment to surrender money and willpower to her church under threat of personal and professional destruction. Hank is weak and incapable of opposing the destiny plotted against him by her and the church. Chris helps Hank stay the course and go along with his life until things may change. Later, Hank is forced to marry a second wife, to go back to the church from where he, years in the past, ran away, and to continue to practice cannibalism as when he was a child. Chris discovers the practice and reminisces about seeing it in two other parts of the world, in highly primitive societies. Hank narrates the history of his church and how they degenerated as a result of a devilish curse. Chris helps Hank escape the curse by assembling a harem in the house they share. From this experience, great excitement is derived by Chris and for the future of Hank, except that destiny had it otherwise. The grandest imperial treasure is bequeathed to Chris, but Hank reverts to his old ways, ending murdered by his own family.