Everett “Moon” Lunamin returns from battles in Vietnam determined to gain wealth and social status mining coal during the coal boom of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Moon struggles with his cousin George Landsetter, a reclamation officer, and surface mining competitors whose greed exceeds their ethics. He succeeds and marries his high school sweetheart, whose family accepts him because he is now wealthy. Moon becomes unhappy that his wife Susan enjoys his money but is unhappy with his efforts to obtain it. They both neglect their son and seek companionship outside their marriage, but Susan refuses divorce to keep her lifestyle. Moon returns from a trip to Africa with his lover and finds Susan murdered with his shotgun. Beset by the IRS, an ambitious prosecutor, and several jealous cousins, Moon struggles to save his business and his life.