1938, two cellmates are released from prison; one a con man and the other innocent of the crime of bank robbery. The con man, Carl Duryea, sees an opportunity (and an early release from prison) in helping his cellmate in clearing his name. They reach the city where the cellmate, Johnny Blackham, grew up and where the bank which was robbed is in - Fresno, California. Duryea realizes he and Blackham are being set up again and only has a couple of days to find the real robbers and to thwart their plans (and maybe pick up some of the dirty lucre in the possess - the twist).
LacCluster Minfrey, Lac for short, is fifteen and has magical ability which is why he is in Barry Ding's Magical Academy. But his magic although innate is not behaving in ways which will allow him to pass the main test. His magical attempts are wildly inconsistent and generally everyone hides when he tries to do magic. This makes him rather depressed. After class one day he decides to practice in the large meadow of the village. He witnesses the magic of a beautiful white unicorn and although it is bizarre magic (flatulence) it is still quite impressive magic. He decides to follow the unicorn as it leaves the village. After a while the unicorn, Chauncey, realizes this mage is following and since Lac has magic they can communicate. Chauncey is searching for his mate, Shastra. If he cannot find her he may be the last unicorn living. They become friends. Friends share adventures; Lac takes care of the pixies, not by design, his torrential vomit discourages the hobgoblins and he out thinks the troll under the bridge. And it wasn't really his fault the other pixies swarmed into the Tenors' farm. Lac and the pixies became friends. To learn where Shastra was he agrees to save Esme. She and Shastra were kidnapped by the bandits. However, the magic woke up the dragon. The dragon takes Shastra and Nadilia because he wanted the ingest all the magic but Lac threw a unicorn tail hair which wraps itself around the dragon's snout.