From The Society of Foxes (1953), a historical novel, Patrick O'Connor comes up to the present day with a patterned mystery set near San Francisco. Young Mike Reading is working his paper route, to help his fatherless family's income, when he comes across a murder that sends him running to the office of the San Martin Vanguard to report the incident to his friend Bill Caxton, the paper's top reporter. Bill had known Mike's father- also a reporter who had mysteriously disappeared on another murder case. Anxious to help the boy, Bill gets the police on the trail that leads them all to a nest of opium smugglers, the very gang who had done away with Mike's father- and in the solving Mike's future as a newsman becomes guaranteed. More nourishing than the comic books.