Five years change a man, and when they have been spent in the bush fighting Boers, the changes are profound. So when Jamie Parson comes home with captain's pips and a Victoria Cross, he is no longer the boy he was. But not to his parents and Mary, his sweetheart...they expect him to fit in. Jamie can't, and shortly breaks off with Mary. Happiness remains a shadow, illusive as the Boers, and Jamie finds the moral struggle as relentless as the military.