• Brother Francis Gerard of Utah is fasting in the desert when he encounters an unnamed pilgrim.
• The pilgrim directs Brother Francis to a rock to build his shelter.
• Unseating the rock, Brother Francis discovers a Fallout Shelter, which he doesn't understand but relates to his religious order's honored Blessed Leibowitz
• Brother Francis finds a box of papers, relics of the Blessed Leibowitz
• The box contains notes, a shopping list, a memo book, a racing form, and a blueprint with Leibowitz's name on it.
• Francis guards the precious box as he passes a dangerous night in the desert.
• An elder monk, Cheroki, hears Brother Francis' confession.
• Francis tells Cheroki about the stranger, the fallout shelter, and the box.
• Cheroki does not believe Francis and sends him back to the monastery without absolution.
• Fingo, the cook's assistant, confirms Francis' find, and Cheroki finally gives Francis absolution.
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