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The town gossips have been unable to discover anything about dressmaker, Winifred Auld, even though she has lived in Thredgo for ten years. But the gossip runs wild when she starts spending her time with the new schoolteacher, Phil Harrington, who is considerably younger than she is.
Io falls instantly in love with a young man captured by a raiding party and brought back to the village. She releases him after dark and they attempt to escape, but are recaptured. Her lover is to be sacrificed at sunrise, but Io will not let that happen.