Henry, seventeen, good looking, athletic but vulnerable arrives at half term in a rural state boarding school. His parents have gone abroad for some months. Will he survive the predators: nympho under-matron Virginia, eighteen, the radon treated monster slugs and the over friendly housemaster, Mr Jones?
The ruthless Ward, seventeen, and his two cronies, Winnaway and Griffiths provide another threat as Henry explores the wooded park-land.
Headmaster Mr Trotman creams off school profits and keeps his staff silent and in their jobs through blackmail. His secret in the cellar should make him very rich, especially with Henry on board.
Henry toughens up and enjoys Virginia in the company of his one friend, Martin, a weak member of Ward's entourage, whilst trapped by slugs in an old barn.
The sub plot of Richard, thirteen, son of craft master Matthew, being surrounded by slugs in the woods and then scared into obedience by Ward and Co in their cave hide-out, adds an additional flavour.