Money is college-bound Eliot Fisher's prime concern. In order to earn some, he and friend Vern, buy a dump truck, an electric saw and go into the wood selling business in and around their community in rural California. Temptation distracts Eliot for a while in his infatuation for ""gold digging"" Bonnie Chatterton for whom transportation in his truck is completely unsuitable. To impress her, Eliot invests a large portion of his earnings in a shiny convertible and although Bonnie's goals are clear from the beginning, Eliot clings to her for as long as she favors his convertible. When both his car (purchased from an unreliable dealer) and his romance disintegrate, Eliot realizes the folly of his ways and gains a greater appreciation for Helen, a girl with more admirable ideals. The story reflects an experience not uncommon to many teenagers, where groping personal values have required painful reassessment to assume true clarity.