A veteran of World War I, John Severson becomes a school teacher in a tough, working-class St. Paul neighborhood where a high school diploma is a rarity. Severson has dreams, aspirations. But omething had happened to him during the war, something awful. And it follows him home and changes every part of his life. John Severson becomes a leper. Instantly he is torn from his dreams, disconnected from his beautiful plan, ripped from the woman he loves. But Severson is determined to reclaim what he lost, to overcome the horror that is leperosy, to dream again.