Mallory, a dingo hunter, is hated by the Indigenous people because of his arrogance, ruthlessness and his desert knowledge. Mallory sees smoke signals that mean the Indigenous people are after his 'tucker'. He is prepared but the 'Myalls' have him trapped in sandstone country where he shoots some of them and they spear him. After a terrible night in pain he dies but has revenged himself by putting dingo bait in the food he left behind.
Four men travelling home in a car from a farmers' meeting entertain themselves with yarns. The lay preacher philosophises on monotony and hope causing the men to think about drought and the future. They decide to visit Mr. Bancroft on the way home. Bancroft tells them his life story and of how water had played a large part in his decisions from the time he had run away from home.