An American "whose grandmother had been black" runs afoul of the F B I for attempting to create a constituency to back up his gubernatorial bid. He takes refuge in a small West African village called Sangari. There, he builds an inn, the Sunday Saloon.
After an apparently good start, his destiny veers off course: his partner, a certain Lady Jane who was not exactly his wife, goes away with a lover. His business fails and "on one fateful sunday morning" his boat capsizes after hitting a tree and he dies. Meanwhile, his integration in the community had evolved so much that he had become one of the highest dignitaries of the land, the priest of the Panther’s Sacred cave. Before his death, he was embarked on a successful negociation with the family of Cecilia, the girl he wanted to marry.
A boy who had been Cecilia’s friend comes back from town where he had gone without leaving an address, and the old idyl revives: she changes her mind about marrying McCormick. On hearing about the accident, Mammy Suzanna, the girl’s aunt asks Cecilia to bring "the other boy", which she does. The old woman organizes an elopement herself after explaining everything to the young man -not to the girl. On their way to Bandoni, the canoe carrying the couple disappears in the estuary during a storm. One of the two paddlers dies, the newly-wed boy too. The girl is rescued by the crew of a passing motor boat. The other paddler manages to swim ashore.