In a different vein from her Casey McKee stories, though the setting is still towards the South, is this group portrayal of a family of actors and their showboat on the Mississippi River in the 1830's. They are the Cliffs- 15 year old Polly who is a born comic; her father, the head of the troupe, her uncles Richard and Mark who take lead and supporting roles respectively; Mark's wife Sophia, the leading lady; and Betsey and Homer, Polly's sister and brother--in-law. Just out of Cincinnati, they are joined by Abel, a young stowaway of dubious background. It is inadvertently through him that they nearly come to misfortune. A hunt for Abel's non-existent relatives leads to Richard's marriage to Flora, a spoiled girl from a rich family who doesn't fit in with the Cliffs' hard working ways. Storms and robbers are as nothing compared with Flora, who alienates Richard from his family too. But just as the big breakup threatens, Flora's change of heart keeps them together. A robust story of olden day Mississippi and the beginnings of theatre life for which it became famous.