Hannes Lombard is a medical doctor who was struck off the roll for substance abuse. He takes refuge on a farm in northern Natal, where his farming efforts are unsuccessful. Buks, his godson is sent to live with him. He’s quite happy to swop city life for a carefree life on the farm with new playmates in a new school. He and Sproetie, the neighbours’ little girl soon become great friends and their laid-back existence becomes even more idyllic when Hannes gives them each a horse. But the serpent sneaks into paradise. Lelik, Buks’s dog startles Sproetie’s horse, who throws her. The fall leaves Sproetie paralysed, and Buks is consumed by selfreproach. But it is old Willem, the farmhand, and his simple wisdom who makes life bearable again for everyone.
A newly arrived governor finds his province under the control of the corrupt Colonel Huerta. To avoid assassination by Huerta, he pretends to be weak and indecisive so Huerta will believe he poses no threat.
On Saint Valentine's Day in 1900, the female students at a private Australian school are given permission by their stern headmistress to travel to an ancient volcanic outcropping for an afternoon picnic.