""Tey is such a consummate wordsmith..." "
Exhausted and suffering from a form of nervous breakdown, Inspector Alan Grant has been given sick live and travels to family in Scotland to recuperate. When disembarking from the overnight train, he finds the night porter in one of the cabins standing over a dead body. It appears the man, in a drunken stupor has tripped over and bashed his head on the basin. Confirming he has been dead some hours, Grant collects his newspapers and swiftly departs. Unbeknownst to him, he has accidentally picked up the dead man's newspaper on which is written some lines of poetry about talking beasts, standing streams, stones that walk and the singing sand.
With this poem floating around his head, Grant wonders what sort of person the dead man was. As Grant begins to fight his own demons, he finds that the man who has been identified as Charles Martin will not be laid to rest easily. With a chance encounter, Grant realises that he must once again be the avenging angel and right a terrible wrong.