In the story of a single evening the author describes school-boy Christopher’s inner conflict. He gets into an argument with his best friend Alan, who inadvertently says aloud what Christopher is most afraid of: that his father will never return to him and his mother. The unmentionable is out and the boy solves his trauma by demonstratively running away to a high rock above the village. It is cold, it gets dark, and the adults come to make him come down. None succeeds but his friend Alan – and the friendship is renewed.