The old familiar faces and elements, heavy laden with coincidence, still radiate enough warmth and pleasure in the telling to divert the Cronin following. The road was tolerably rough for young Laurence Carroll from the beginning. Although only child of a devoted couple, the family's Roman Catholicism isolated Laurie from his neighbors in the Scotland of 1900. However, Laurie soon took to schooling with gusto under the talented teaching of crippled Pin. Forced to move after the accidental death of a poor girl the family had befriended, Laurie soon became acquainted with wealthy Miss Greville, who taught him manners, botany and the Spartan Way. The death of his father and commital of Miss Greville to a mental institution crumpled Laurie's world, and while his mother attempted to support them, Laurie was sent to board with Uncle Simon, a priest, and then with parsimonious Uncle Leo, Scrooge and scourge of yardgoods. Hope seemed dead, but cousins Terry and Nora, then Pin appeared; new interests arose; and with Pin's help Laurie passed the scholarship exams for the University. Out of hardship victory; but woman dominated. No masterpiece this, but A. J.'s serenity keeps the pages turning... Not just sixpences, more likely ducats considering his venerable readership.