Christmas in Mexico City during horse and carriage days, as experienced by a timid American girl who gains in confidence as a result of her adventures. Daisy refuses to attend a bullfight with Papa or listen to his description of the Aztecs' human sacrifice, but is so moved by a blind singer in the market place that she gets lost following him and his wife and baby and has to spend the night in their shed. Reunited with her family, Daisy shows further independence when, on horseback for the first time, she jumps a ditch Papa and sister Emily had avoided. This occasions a sort of developmental miracle that requires as much faith from the reader as the announced healings do of visitors to the cathedral Emily has toured. Ending her ride ""high and assured in the saddle. . . she didn't feel like the old, timid, awkward Daisy. . . . This was the awakening Daisy, who had at last found that she, too, could do something well. . . she would never be the same again."" Daisy's sudden blooming is all the less impressive for being a dimmer, South-of-the-border rerun of 1967's Bess and the Sphinx.