Forestry is dangerous work. Accidents happen. But how many accidents are too many? The teachers at Fern Valley Area School are hiding something. The school Principal has disappeared, apparently taking a rest cure in a Meditation Centre. The management of the Meditation Centre has no knowledge of him. Policewoman Barbara van Buren's brother has gone walk-about. He has taken his surfing gear and has left the job unfinished. Kingi Waitai, a Maori leader, is beaten up for talking to Richard. Then Richard disappears.