At the beginning of the story, the villagers discover a hole. One of the villagers drops a pebble into the hole and listens for the sound of the pebble hitting the bottom. The pebble, however, makes no sound. One of the villagers tries shouting into the hole and discovers that no echo of his voice returns to him. This suggests that the hole is either very deep or perhaps even bottomless.
When a newspaper reporter arrives, he tries lowering a weight into the hole. He ties the weight to "the end of a long cord" and lowers the weight into the hole, expecting, at some point, to feel the weight touch the bottom of the hole. When the cord runs out the reporter tries to pull the weight back up but is unable to do so. This suggests that the hole is deeper even than the long cord, and perhaps so deep that the gravitational pull prevents the reporter from pulling the weight back up out of the hole.
After the newspaper reporter fails to determine the depth of the hole, the villagers send for a scientist. The scientist brings with him a "high-powered bullhorn," which he intends to use to "check out the echo from the hole's bottom." However, not even the bullhorn produces an echo from this hole, again suggesting that the hole is either extraordinarily deep or bottomless.
After the scientist fails to determine the depth of the hole, a concessionaire steps forward and offers to fill the hole for the villagers. The concessionaire proceeds to fill the hole with nuclear waste, animal carcasses, sewage, and everything else in between.
One day, after much time has passed, there falls from the sky the pebble that one of the villagers dropped into the hole when it was first discovered. The voice of the man who shouted into the hole at the beginning of the story is also heard. The implication is that the bottom of the hole is the sky above them.