In Shakandazu Valley, a typical small rural town in the Ciskei, ruled over by the Inkosi from the grand mansion called The Residence, attention is diverted from the boredom of daily life and the pressure of the severe drought by various pursuits: movies, parties, socializing, drinking – and speculating about one of the Valley's newest and most mysterious residents – Roger Hall.
The man had simply turned up one day three years before, bought the old bungalow at the end of Buku Road – paid for it in cash, and then kept to himself. The only times he seemed to venture into town was to buy copious amounts of alcohol from the liquor store every few weeks. Sometimes he briefly showed his face at happenings hosted by curious locals. He never spoke about his past.
Who was he? Where did he come from? How did he come to have so much money readily on hand? Why did he never want to talk about his past – not even to the Doctor, or Mr. Gaika, his closest friends in town?