Geologist Willy is brought down by heat stroke in the Australian outback, right after encountering the bush memorial of P Mack, “killed by blacks, 1894”. He impetuously moves to temperate Sweden to recover an identity. He is a cheerful tourist amongst mostly immigrants until he comes up against sulky valkyrie Svea in a Dalarna idyll. After just one weekend with Svea he meets his end in street violence in Stockholm, which echoes the emblematic encounter with P Mack.
Willy is amused to be “a salmon up the wrong creek”, counter to vectors of his time, but feels perhaps he has “arrived” when suddenly it all goes to hell. Others about him also meet dark ends, as if through ripples of his fate.