A story of boyhood rivalry and emotional survival set in the Home Front of WW2.
As the adults worry about the onset of war, lonely Billy gets the play-mate he's longed for but in the form of manipulative cousin Kenneth. The four parents only see the porcelain looks of Kenneth and not his darker soul. A precious Cossack sabre owned by his father's more understanding colleague becomes an icon of strength which sustains Billy throughout the bullying from Uncle Frank, manipulation by Kenneth and two evacuations. The evacuations provide the emotional warmth Billy craves and an arena for the two boys to develop their different talents. But after the war, adolescence and the sharing of physical and emotional space bring the rivalry to a crisis. The outcome is devastating for both boys. Billy must find an honourable resolution which will enable his survival, while Kenneth ensures he will always have the last word.