In order to prove his love for Lucinda (even though she already loves him, he feels the need to prove it), Oscar bets her he can create a church made of glass, and ship it up north to a small village where Lucinda's friend Hasset is preaching, all by Good Friday. She accepts his bet, and the two slowly fall in love.
Oscar's party eventually deserts him, and he sets off with only one friend on a raft with the fully constructed glass church on top of it. He finally arrives in the city, and passes out from the stress, exposure, and dehydration. While immobile, he is raped by a local woman. He spends the night in the church on the boat, and during the evening the weight of the church makes the boat sink and he drowns.
Lucinda arrives in time for his funeral, and when Oscar's child is born (the woman who raped him dies in childbirth), she raises the child as her own.
The final shot shows her teaching the boy how to swim, as Oscar had a debilitating fear of the water.