Conscientious objector Dan and student Sarah leave Berkeley for life in San Marino County, away from the horrors of city life. Moving to a sheep farm, the couple anticipates the birth of their first child as they enjoy the countryside. Dan had been a medical student, so they plan on natural childbirth. Their pleasure in pastoral life is ruined when her father, Jeffries, who has been a sailor away at sea for years, shows up to visit. Dan becomes jealous as he listens to them talk about their family and the past. Jeffries also taunts Dan for being a pacifist. At first amused by their escape back to nature, Jeffries is shocked when he learns that the two lovers are not married. Determined to take her away, he gets drunk and argues violently with Dan while Sarah runs outside. The melodramatic climax crescendos into an emotionfest of birth and death.