Mattie Cameron is young, deaf and pretty. Sandy Logan loves her and vows to marry her when she is of age, but The Laird intends to use her to buy the silence of Jacob Reevil, who covets the Cameron farm – and Mattie. When Sandy finds himself facing a trumped up murder charge he and Mattie flee during the night. They find refuge at the derelict farm of Fairlyden with cripple, Daniel Munro More
Matthew Camerson’s death has ended the three life lease on the tenancy of the farm of Nethertannoch but Sandy Logan hopes to secure the tenancy so that he can keep his promise, made to Matthew on his deathbed, namely to love and protect his daughter, Mattie. He has made his promise with joy and sincerity because he loves the beautiful and vulnerable Mattie, who has been deaf since childhood.
The laird, Sir Douglas Irving, has other plans. He has little interest in the remote Scottish glen
of Caoranne, or its people, but he needs to buy the silence of rapacious farmer, Jacob Reevil, who has long coveted the prosperous Cameron farm – and Mattie. So the laird promises the girl and the farm to Reevil’s idiot son, with no thought for the consequences.
When events explode into violence Sandy finds himself accused of murder and he is forced to flee. He takes Mattie with him, although he knows he cannot marry her until she comes of age. They trek for many miles and eventually find refuge at the rundown farm of Fairlyden, nestling in a peaceful valley. It belongs to Daniel Munro who has been in poor health for years due to crippling rheumatism. He does not welcome strangers but something about the pair of fugitives touches his heart and he agrees to let them stay.
They work hard to make a living and to restore the fertility of the land. Gradually Mattie is able to produce enough eggs and butter to sell, and Sandy has his strength and knowledge of horse breeding, but they try to keep out of the public eye, fearing retribution from Caoranne.
Unfortunately Daniel Munro is the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Strathtod so Fairlyden only belongs to him, and his heirs, during their lifetime. Without heirs it will return to the present Earl, who has always hated Daniel and can’t wait for him to die. So Daniel devises a scheme to thwart his half-brother, a scheme which must include Mattie - one which will have far- reaching consequences down the generations.