Old man Milner runs a ferry service across the Fhare River. Milner has three strong healthy sons which help him work the barge and a daughter. Mellios the eldest and a man in his own right works the barge with his brother Isaiah pulling the barge across the river by means of a thick rope which is secured on both sides of the river and attached to the barge. Lyle is the youngest son spends much of his time keeping the house and barge in good repair. Milner’s daughter, Neidra does the book keeping and cleans up after her brothers and father. Milner being advanced in years has all but retired and pretty much lets the children run things as he putters around his rambling farm house.