In the Jazz Age, in a poor corner of Mexico, Casiopeia Tun is living as a poor relative -- or servant -- in the household of her grandfather, and the but of her cousin Martin's petty cruelties, but one day, she has a chance to open a mysterious chest in her grandfather's room.
It hold bones, and a chip of bone gets stuck in her hand. Whereupon the bones rise up and make a form like a man -- in reality, the Mayan god Hun-Kame. His brother's treachery trapped him there, and he is still missing an ear, an eye, a finger, and his jade necklace. He needs her help, and the bone chip will be the death of her if he does not succeed in time.
It involves the story she ran off with a man, a very strange hotel, going to a crossroad, a florist who gives her a flower, a bracelet, bribing snakes, travels on trains, deals and bargains, and more.