Another posthumous novel from the mysterious author of The Treasure of Sierra Madre and The Death Ship--a fairly bald political parable, all about manipulation at the hands of the powerful, no matter how trivial the impetus, and how it affects everyone else. Condor Oil, headed by a schemer named Collins whose maneuvering in coal once brought the U.S. economy to the point of total failure, has its eye on a Mexican Indian hacienda, Rosa Blanca. Pressed around by the importunities of mistress and family, Collins must raise lots of quick cash; but the Indian patron of the hacienda, Jacinto Yanez, won't play ball. So the funny business commences, including Jacinto's murder and finally even a Mexican coup. Traven starts out in straight cartoon fashion (the goodies oh-so-good, the baddies skunks), but then he tones it down--the basic message being that there are no small events when magnified by power. And when he writes about Collins' swindles on the grand scale, Traven gets excitedly into it, with a dashing and sardonic cynicism, like a good columnist. But, on the whole, like the other Mexican tales published in the late '6Os, this is too premeditated a performance, an obvious frequently wooden morality tale with only a few angrily lively spurts.