One night, under a full moon, someone beats repetedly on the door of an old shanty. Then there is a violent altercation between a man and a woman, followed by a sudden fire... And the modest hut is reduced to ashes despite the efforts of a few neighboors to save it. Somehow a fragile boy of nine, named Mentse, manages to escape from the blaze. But he is pursued by the man who claims to be his father !... Caught up in a sort of "Night of the Hunter" in an inhospitable jungle, the boy nevertheless succeeds in getting away from the dangers of the wilds and from his pursuer. Injured, he is rescued by some pygmies who tend to his wounds and surround him with tenderness. And it is amoung these endearing inhabitants of the forest that Mentse will go through the ritual of his circumcision... He will also discover the affection and friendship of Ngâ'nsi, a beautiful young girl whose eyes penetrate beyond the visible... Later, having left the pygmy camp, he wanders alone and hungry through the bush... One day he comes to a beach where he watches in amazement the birth of a turtle which he adopts and names : "Totor"...