The Black Death rampages through England and the players are forced to travel continuously in an effort to make money. Widge is enjoying his time with the troupe, but he is obsessed about finding his real father. When father and son are unexpectedly united, Widge cannot believe his luck. But all is not what it seems, and his father's behaviour begins to cause trouble for the players.
Disaster strikes, Shakespeare breaks his arm and cannot finish his new hit comedy. Widge is forced to step in and save the day.
Mr. Blackwood's descriptions of the travelling players, with their hierarchical system, their draft horses pulling the carewares, and their method of performing is utterly convincing, as also are the pressures the group faces from rival players, bandits, threat of plague, and their reception in the various towns. Characterisation is believable, showing that while history may change, human nature does not.