In this story the narrator reads a manuscript written by Arthur Staples Karslake just before he died while serving in the United States Cavalry. The narrator has no personal connection to the author but has received permission from Patterson Karslake, the author's brother, to publish the manuscript. He gets it form Juan Tejada, a harness-maker in Albuquerque, who has been keeping it for a bone collector by the name of Bass while he is on a trip in the Klondike. Parts of the manuscript are in pen and parts are in pencil. The narrator interjects periodically while reading the manuscript to explain that the pieces are in fragments.