Tom Hunter was a total loss on his father's farm. He did some experiments with farm machines, always-said his father-to get out of work -- but he could repair breakdowns (only too often caused by his own carelessness). This is Tom Hunter's story -- and through Tom, the story of the repercussions caused in upstate New York (Phelps -- scene of Country Lawyer, etc.) when first bicycles, then motor cars begun to displace horses. Tom was in the forefront -- and get blame and small credit. But the stories that revolved around him make good substance for ellesy Partridge's special gift in nostalgia, human, often humorous recordings of the days of his own youth. As a sidelight on the early days of motoring, it should have some of the appeal of Katrine MacGlashan's delightful (and too little appreciated) Hersiees Buggy (Little, Brown).