There's poignancy and humor in relatively equal measure in this story of a Mexican family seeking a chance in life in that America of opportunity across the border. Pablo is too liberal, too outspoken for his own good in the village that was their home, so he steals off at night with his family and worldly goods, makes his way to the border, and then finds first evidence of the kind of 'welcome' Mexicans are given. He had been a big man at home; in the U.S.A. he must bend the knee to the gringo. When he doesn't, when his sense of fair play wins out, he must move on. We follow his career from a new form of industrial slavery in Texas, to agricultural slavery in California; social ostracism, discrimination at school -- sublime goal, viewed from afar-, always poverty, want and fear. The author writes simply, vividly, out of the heart of things. He makes one laugh with Lombardo; he makes one ashamed of the 'white shadows' on the lives of our minority peoples. And yet the story is told on the level of human beings and rarely as a social indictment, primarily. It may put over some of what more solemn documents fail to do.