Matti Wilson is a loner who singlehands his sailing vessel on the coast of British Columbia. His only companion is Blackie his dog, a labrador/great dane cross. While he is anchored in a small bay in Viner Sound he is possessed by the spirit of Jojo. Jojo reveals his confinement at a secret Japanese radio base in Viner Sound during WWII. Over seven possessions Jojo tells of the atrocities inflicted on his brother and himself. Because the ritual of burning food beside his body at time of death was not performed, Jojo's spirit is trapped in the cave at Viner Sound. Matti, a skeptic, relates his ordeal to his cousin, Caring-well, a Shaman in the Indian village of Gwayasdums. The Shaman interprets Matti's possession and plans how to release Jojo's spirit. Matti obtains a contract to map the clear-cut logging sites on the coast and takes Bessie David as a crew to assist him. Bessie David is half Kwakiutl and half Chinese. She is a fiesty and intelligent young woman who aspires to go to Medical school. Over two seasons as his crew she falls in love with this older man. Chief Joseph of the Koeksotenok tribe at Gwayasdums has a vendetta against the whites after his parents were imprisoned for breaking the Potlatch ban. His father dies in prison and he vows to get their lands returned. He assists the Japanese during WWII to set up the secret radio base at Viner Sound because he was promised that their lands would be returned to his people after the Japanese won the war. After three years Bessie breaks down Matti's resistance to her wish to be his partner and goes off to Vancouver to enter medical school. Matti buys her a house in Vancouver so that he can visit her from time to time. He also plans a potlatch of forgiveness for his own and Chief Joseph's atrocities of war that is delayed by a life threatening illness. He enters Vancouver General Hospital so that Bessie is able to be with him. Loss of Face and fear that Jojo might possess another person and reveal his part in Jojo's death makes Chief Joseph taken action against Matti.