With the villagers of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton barely having enough food to survive, Ésimésac convinces them to collaborate on a community garden. Each person will multiply his or her yield by cultivating the land together. At the same time, talk of a new railway line promises to connect Saint-Élie-de-Caxton to the rest of the world and brings the hope of abundance. Riopel, the hulking blacksmith, starts working on the railway track and convinces the locals to invest in his project rather than waste their time playing in the garden. Ésimésac’s big project flounders under the weight of metal. But can he really stop progress?