A well worked historical looks at the border raids following the Mexican War and relates an incident that pinpoints a problem in the life of young Sam Randal, blistering under the criticism of his father, who runs a Rio Grande river boat out of Brownsville. Sam is not as sure as his father is of his rights to Santa Rita, the estate of the Cortina family, now on land won by Texas in the war. When the fiery Don Juan Cortina turns outlaw to exact a retribution for lands which he believes are unjustly taken, he captures Sam and plays him off as hostage to the Brownsville forces. Yet Sam is more than hostage; he cannot help but respect a man fighting for his property and it is the boy's borrowed boots which symbolize a divided loyalty. The course of events, which accurately describes the contrast between two ways of living, charta the defeat of Cortina and his band, but Sam, who aids in their escape, returns to a new understanding for his father and a better way of life. Good.