There is a sprite in our story, a blue butterfly pooka from the once, long ago forests of Ireland. And, there is the Irish Tom Quinn, an old field trialer, who would pin his dream of a national championship upon the likes of sprites and leprechauns.
There is the teenaged Michael, a novice who, with Tom's niece Amy, shares Tom's dreams in a sport where the competition can be conspiratorial and snarling. And, then, there is Rooster, the flop eared, yellow-eyed "mongrel breed" with just enough heart to make a fanciful dream come true.
But, in their way is Red Eyes, a devil of a dog, a gun slinger dog in a cowboy kind of game. And, there are the men that made him that way, Buck Arness and Tall Charlie Hinkle, recognizable by their wiry frames and ashen skin, by the dirt beneath their fingernails.
Not above sabotage, inclined to wait in ambuscade, they are coming east to the Nationals, coming east to best Tom and Mike and Rooster.