A venture for a Pennsylvania Dutch boy in the 1820's awaits Dirk Heller who is not altogether satisfied with a strict home where his father will not let him have his own horse and where he, as eldest son, will not inherit the farm. So be goes with Uncle Justus, off to settle in Ohio. But the guide they choose proves a crocked man. His attempts to get their money or leave them stranded have their climax in a near ditaster in which Dirk saves the lead horse from drowning and the guide in Justus with new friends now, is able to go on alone and gives Dirk the rescued horse with which to return for a happier life at home. Pleasant telling with the spatterings of Plain People vernacular to make the narrative swing along.