A wealthy Chilean landowner is used to having powers within his domain which would not surprise a feudal lord in Spain in the 14th century. In this story, set in 1917, Julio Garcia Castano is preparing to celebrate his son's 15th birthday by inviting a selection of local whores to vie for the privilege of initiating him into sexual manhood. His plans go awry when the boy (who is also named Julio) and one of the prostitutes fall in love with each other. With a ruthlessness that would put a Borgia to shame, he ends the relationship. He also has a boundary dispute with a nearby Franciscan monastery, which he solves with similar dispatch.