The 1863 Civil War death of Lamerie Wighte, mistress of Wightefield, and the rape of her 12-year-old daughter Mersey by Union Lieutenant Shadrack Hawkins fuels another treasure hunt 100 years later. Romance, ancestral ghosts, treasure hunters, and descendants of the prominent Wighte and Mainwaring families search the Civil War ruins of Wightefiled for a fabled emerald necklace and family silver rumored to be hidden there. Lamerie's 1963 descendant struggles to maintain her hold on Wightefield despite her husband, Jake Hawkins; her Mainwaring lover, Crossett; the total depletion of her family heritage; and marauders looting the decrepit house.
In the midst of it all is a mysterious feature writer known only as The Rambler. His (her) random articles on ghost lore of the old, abandoned manor houses of deteriorated wealthy families only exacerbate hidden plots, dark family secrets, and supernatural events, all tied to the necklace and silver.