Charles Bentley, retired professor of English at Opal College in Opalsville, Massachusetts, and recently published mystery writer, travels to Royston College in New Hampshire to help a woman he loved over forty years ago. Although she abruptly broke up with him at the time, he still feels obligated to her. She is now Royston’s president but is accused of improperly attempting to influence a tenure committee, a charge which could force her from office. She requests that Charles represent her at the hearing, and he somewhat reluctantly agrees to do so. Charles soon discovers that fulfilling obligations from the past can lead to danger in the present.