Mary and James struggle to overcome these conflicts and be true to their love. As their love rises to new heights, so too does the peaceful lake they visit. Too soon, both come together in a climax as the dam breaks and the floodwaters rush towards Johnstown.
The reader is driven along with the flood towards its final reckoning. Now all that awaits is destiny, for Mary, for James and for the people of Johnstown, Pennsylvania on that fateful day of May 31, 1889.