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Written as a screenplay concept by Nevil Shute. The story starts as young Major Callendar aged 27 returns from WWII to take up his teaching position again at an English public school that he'd left for the war after only a year as an unremarkable instructor. The headmaster and his two assistant masters all over age sixty arrange the school's schedule so that upon Callendar's return he'll have to teach the school's new required course in American history that none of the older men want to teach. War, world travel, and two stints as a prisoner of war have changed Callendar from the uncertain young man who left the school six years before. Major Callendar starts by asking his students if any of them can tell him who first discovered America? Unbeknownst to Callendar, the headmaster is uncertain of his new instructor's ability and he listens in through a crack in the adjoining room's communicating door. What the headmaster hears from the room next door is not the story of John Cabot and Christopher Columbus that everyone expected. When one of the students questions the new teacher's version of history, remarking that it says Cabot in the book Callendar answers back, well, the book's wrong then and so begins a story of Norse sea-going exploration and settlement that starts in AD 1002.