Set in Buenos Aires. A man is called upon to identify and evaluate an unfinished and enigmatic painting thought to be the work of the famous painter, Bax. Slowly he finds himself enmeshed in the mysteries of its identification leading him slowly to murder, insanity and death.
Lyon Gaultier is a deserter in the Foreign Legion arriving in the USA entirely hard up. He finds his brother between life and death and his sister-in-law without the money needed to heal her husband and to maintain her child.
Hick handymen Val McKee and Earl Bassett can barely eke out a living in the Nevada hamlet of Perfection, so they decide to leave town -- despite an admonition from a shapely seismology coed who's picking up odd readings on her equipment.