The founder of a ""School for Adventure"" in Scotland returns for his ninth book about expeditions to dangerous locales. This time it's Peru, where guerrillas of the ""Shining Path"" are executing people for no apparent reason. A friend of Ridgway's is among the slain, and he manages to locate the dead man's young daughter in a hill town. Ridgway has the formula for this type of narrative down pat; his story bumps along with little incident, but the lack of true thrills may be due to an unanswerable question: what is Ridgeway doing there in the first place? This type of ""adventurousness"" seems akin to foolhardiness. Despite the gratuitous nature of the story, however, Ridgway handles it like a seasoned storyteller. His prose is acceptable, if slightly gee-whiz in style. There are a few slips into H. Rider Haggard pomposities (""Once more fate took us in hand""), but these are thankfully few. And readers who want to follow Ridgway on his road to Osambre will at least be gratified by a tale with an old-fashioned happy ending in a land full of tribulation: in a generous gesture, the author decided to adopt the young daughter of his late friend. Well-meant, capable narrative, if not dazzling or innovative.