It's the height of the Depression, and people are desperate for a distraction from their lives. Film director Church Chetwood wants to help them forget-and he manages it with his documentaries and travelogues. But when the saber-tooth tiger he captured escapes, Manhattan's grave situation only worsens. Now Church is facing ten years up the river.
Black Tuesday left John Smith a homeless sixteen-year-old orphan, and in the past four years he's survived as best he could. When his path crosses Church's, Johnny's looking for a meal, nothing more. Surely after all he's done, no one could love him-especially not Church, who insists he isn't "like that." But Church does have a plan to get away. Maybe if Johnny's lucky, Church will let him tag along.