Before she can be drowned as a witch, Elizabeth Robinson is swept away by the tide and the devil wind of Boston, Lincolnshire. She issues a curse on those responsible and declares that it will only end ‘when the birdman falls from the sky and into the mire’. Then, and only then will the evil in her descendants that is ever present will be finally defeated ‘and love will again prosper’.
The story traces the fate of the Robinson and Williston families through their time during the English Civil War and their uniting together in Boston, Massachusetts, two hundred years later. There is action aboard the Lusitania and Southern Ireland followed by a return to England and then the battlefields of France in WWI. The climax of the story occurs back in the USA after two heroes, Stephen Robinson and Bobby Williston, return at the end of hostilities only to be involved in a trial followed by an aerial combat.