By age 10, Billy has had enough of his bully dad, and decides that some day he'll kill him. Also, at ten, he realizes that the local priest has a pretty good life. So maybe he'll try to be one. He becomes close friends with another abused boy, and they try to set a trap to injure their dads. A girl at school falls for Billy, and the three are inseparable. At the seminary, he runs into more bullies. There, he meets a Tibetan and finds a different idea of God. As a senior, he gets expelled for disobedience. Drafted, he goes to Korea. Wounded three times, he is mistakenly sent to a Turkish hospital, and discovers he can't speak. Sometime later, at an American hospital, he is finally 'cured.' His mother has died, and his girlfriend has moved. Billy wants to find her, but feels he is not ready emotionally to be with her.