Sent on a mission to New York by Grady Fring, the Kredit King, Norwood Pratt has visions of "speeding across the country in a late model car, seeing all the sights." Instead, he gets involved with incredible characters in a wild journey that takes him in and out of stolen cars, freight trains, and buses before he returns home to Ralph, Texas.
Stationed in France in 1917, Lamar Jimmerson comes across a little book crammed with Atlantean puzzles, Egyptian riddles, and extended alchemical metaphors. It's the Codex Pappus—the sacred Gnomon text. Soon he is basking in the lore of lost Atlantis, convinced that his mission on earth is to extend the ranks of this noble brotherhood. He forms the Gnomon Society, an international fraternal order dedicated to preserving that lost city's arcane wisdom.
When his wife, Norma, runs off with her lover, taking with her Ray's credit cards and his Ford Torino, Ray sets off in pursuit, journeying from Arkansas through Texas and Mexico to a remote plantation in Honduras.