* Jane and Mark Studdock are a newly married couple who live in post-war England in a town called Edgestow.
* Jane feels trapped in her marriage and likes to be independent while Mark is obsessed with belonging to groups of some sort.
* Mark is in a fellowship at Bracton College and is heading to a meeting about selling a piece of the college property, Bragdon Wood, to the National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments (the N.I.C.E.).
* The N.I.C.E. intends to buy the property at Bracton College in order to build a huge facility in which they will employ many people.
* This piece of property, Bragdon Wood, is at the center of Bracton and at its center is a deep well known as Merlin's well.
* Jane has been having vivid and frightening dreams and tries to calm her nerves by going...
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