Affairs of the heart, murder, suicide, riot, gossip, politics, heroism, cowardice--Witless bubbles over with the passionate extremes of life. Two peoples settle in Britts Mill, a small town in Southern Wisconsin, in the middle of the nineteenth century. The first are fun loving, free-spirited people who build the town's dance hall and saloon. They love, they dance, they play cards, they pull off pranks, they build their dreams. The second are the congregation of the Church of the Bridge. They pursue austerity in this world and hope for paradise in the next. Hubert Dartmouth, founder of the Church, is struck by lightning, survives, and commits his life to censuring worldly pleasure. His son and grandson each take the leadership of the Church, when their times come, and pursue the same end. The conflict between these cultures begins as inconsequential friction but grows over a half a century to erupt into an explosive conclusion.