At short notice, Gerald Burleigh Brown is asked to take a deer-stalking holiday in place of his brother-in-law. The old hunting lodge where Gerald stays is miles from the nearest village and surrounded by the forest with its high rocky hills. Apart from getting to know the other people in the house party, Gerald gradually begins to understand and make friends with the local inhabitants. Gerald’s days are spent stalking the “hummel”, a huge hornless stag which proves particularly elusive. Then suddenly an outburst of violence changes the whole nature of his holiday. In trying to protect the girl he's grown to love,l Gerald runs into considerable personal danger.