In rural Indiana, fourteen-year-old Jay Hicks and his four best friends spend their days swimming in the Eulachon River and hanging out in their hideout, which lay deep inside a peach orchard on the outskirts of town. Danny is the smartest of the bunch, while Henry is the timid follower. Recently-orphaned hoodlums, Dave and Roy Herrick, round out the group. But when their lazy summer is agitated by Dave's increasingly reckless and peculiar behavior, the boys are forced to choose sides. The arrival of a mysterious drifter only adds to the tension—and incites a series of events between Jay and Dave that will haunt Jay for the rest of his life.