Roland Deschain relates the tale of "The Wind Through The Keyhole" to a young boy, Bill Streeter, who he is guarding in the town of Debaria. A 'skin changer' has been wreaking havoc there, and Roland has been sent by his father to Debaria to deal with it.In this story-within-the-story, a young boy, Tim Ross from the village of Tree, journeys through the Ironwood Forest. He is attempting to obtain a cure from Maerlyn the wizard, for his mother Nell, who has been struck blind in a terrible beating from her husband - Tim's stepfather, Bern Kells.The Covenant Man reveals where Tim can find Maerlyn in a magical vision. Travelling along the Ironwood Trail, Tim is led to the Fagonard Swamp by a sighe - one of the fairy folk -called Armanteea, who appears as a tiny winged woman, leaving a spectral trail of green light behind her as she flies. Enchanted by her, Tim follows as she leads him deeper into the treacherous swamp. She entices him to jump onto what Tim believes is a rock amongst the mud and silt, but it is actually the head of a female dragon. Tim leaps to safety, and pleads for his life - the dragon spares him, and Tim realises the sighe had really been leading him into danger all along- a trick of the Covenant Man. Armanteea has now abandoned him, and Tim is in danger of being attacked by terrible swamp creatures.
As he despairs, Tim sees he is being watched by a strange tribe of swamp-dwellers, semi-human 'mudmen'. They are greatly impressed when Tim shoots an attacking reptile with the 'four-shot' - the gun the Widow Smack gave him, as he left Tree. In awe, they 'Hile' Tim, believing him to be a 'Gunslinger'. After some debate in their own language, they send a boat, with the Helmsman on board, to rescue Tim. The swamp dwellers are 'muties', who seem to be partly made from the plant matter of the swamp they live in. They are able to telepathically understand Tim, and even though they can only say one word, 'Hile', the Fagonard tribe communicate through mime. The Helmsman shows Tim they know who he is looking for, by indicating Maerlyn's beard and conical hat. More mime warns Tim about a snarling animal, but Tim is unable to recognise what they are trying to show him.
The tribe bring Tim food, and a waterskin, and give him a strange metal disc - this device from 'the old people' is a navigation aid, which can guide Tim, as he travels onwards. A final mime from the Helmsman seems to convey to Tim the impresson of a dog-like animal, scenting the air after turning in rapid circles. They warn Tim of an impending disaster, by miming violent shivering, and then falling to the ground, as if dead. Tim realises the tribe are doomed, and begins to cry.
The boat is prepared, and Tim is taken onboard - they take him through the treacherous swamp, to the end of the Fagonard. After reminding Tim how to activate the navigational disc, the swamp-dwellers set Tim on the next part of his journey, and Tim sadly watches as they slowly paddle away. He begins to move north, deeper into the forest, away from Fagonard Swamp, and the doomed Tribe.