Detective-Inspector Bonaparte visits the Baden Park Hotel in the guise of a sheep farmer on vacation in order to find out the fate of two young Australian girls who had been hiking and were known to be well able to take care of themselves. Some weeks after the disappearance, young Detective Price out searching for them is found shot dead in his car. Bony doles out small drinks of whiskey to the elder invalid Simpson in return for what information he can give. The younger Simpson, Jim, owner of Baden Park Hotel, is a cold man, though an excellent organist, often heard playing on a large expensive organ brought from Germany for him by his wealthy friend Carl Benson. Carl and his sister Cora live behind high barbed-wire fences and electrically operated gates–ostensibly to protect their valuable breeding sheep–but Bony senses a more sinister set-up. Glen Shannon, an American, is yard man at the hotel. He has a personal interest in Bony's investigation.