Part of a long series of novels about the author's alter ego, Espen Arnakke, a sailor from Jante, Denmark, begun in 1931 and continuing to 1938. He explores his irrational act of murdering a friend who seduced his girlfriend. This part is set in the small narrow-minded Danish village he calls 'Yoknapatawpha' where Espen explores his childhood to find out who he is.
Deals with the relationships between the crew members on a schooner traveling from Bergen to New Foundland. It includes legends, Freudian psycholoanalysis and short sketches. The crew includes a clergyman accused of child molestation and the Golden Horse, a giant, violent sailor who is the central character of the novel.