Claus is the son of a front-line soldier now growing up in post-war Molde. His father's thesis on the origins of The Heimskringla was lost during the bombing of Leipzig. The large house on the hillside falls slowly into disrepair, while apathy and illness spreads throughout the family. A Polish violinist escapes to Molde, where a preacher from Fiji and a German prince also come. Claus talks to birds while the city's war heroes are killed in mysterious circumstances.