A young Englishwoman, Jane, is caught between the feelings she has for Ellis and those of a French doctor, Jean-Pierre. When she discovers that Ellis is a CIA spy, she decides to accept Jean-Pierre's offer of accompanying him to Afghanistan on a medical mission of aid to a local tribe.
Jean-Pierre's motivations are not entirely charitable. While he does assist the Afghanistanis with their medical conditions, his true motive is to assist the KGB and the Russians in their infiltration and invasion of the arid, though mountainous, country.
When Ellis is offered a chance to travel to Afghanistan, he accepts, with the intention of meeting Jane again. After his arrival in the village, in the Five Lions Valley, their relationship is rekindled, with a steamy alliance (while Jean-Pierre is absent on a 'medical' assignment).
Ellis and Jane decide to escape Afghanistan, using the treacherous Butter Trail across the mountains. Her baby daughter, Chantal, accompanies them. The trek is physically dangerous; the peril is intensified by the knowledge that Jean-Pierre and the band of Russian and Afghanistani thugs will go to extreme violent measures to obstruct their escape.
This report prepared by Jeanne Cross