The chief character of this non-story is a runaway orphan who stumbles over the tripod of an emineal ornithologist, is invited to stay for the summer, is eventually adopted; otherwise Joshua has no particular identity. Neither does what happens in the meantime have anything to do with his situation or much to do with him: a sputtering water tank gives up the ""ghost""; a secret room, entered through a chimney (the liveliest sequence), bares no secrets; a foraging jackdaw precedes the guests at a dinner party. Joshua does alert the Professor to the burglars who are after the Cellini base for an ostrich egg. . . which, shattering, disgorges a valuable carved figure. (How it got in that egg we'll never know.) Right after the Professor and his wife discover that they're rich(er), they offer to adopt Joshua; probably there's no connection--there's no connection anywhere else.