Young Matthew Burke overhears the schoolyard bully bragging that his father, Noah, plans to steal the school master’s new mail order bride. No one dares cross the dreaded Bartlett family by interfering in their wicked business. But young Matthew loves the Master for his kindness and attention, and he risks everything to warn him of the Bartlett’s plans. He goes with the Master to meet Polly McLane at the train station, only to discover that Noah Bartlett has been there already. He has threatened Polly and the Master with death if they stand against him. He intends to come to the church on Sunday to stop their wedding and steal Polly for himself.
Matthew gets sucked into a web of lies and deception that will test his loyalty and inspire him to new heights of bravery to protect the innocent. From hopelessness to triumph, from victim to hero, Matthew and his friends overturn the tyranny of the Bartlett’s and cast away the shadows with new light. The final cataclysmic confrontation challenges all his preconceptions about his beloved School Master and the world in which he lives.