A third juvenile by the author of The Egg and I but a story far afield from her Mrs. Pigglewiggle tales. Here she plays on a popular theme -- in a story about orphans, those perennially popular unfortunates of juvenile fiction. Nancy, who is ten, and Plum, eight, live in a small country boarding home, run by an ogreish Mrs. Marybelle Monday. The orphans suffer endless indignities, such as watching Mrs. Monday and her niece and namesake eating chicken pie, while the orphans are on the prune and oatmeal circuit. There are no presents for them at Christmas. They stay behind while Mrs. Monday goes to town, and so on. But in Old Tom, the stable man, they find a friend. And their essential optimism helps them maintain high levels of gaiety in the face of misfortune. When it all gets too grim they run away and take refuge in a nearby farm of Angus and Mary Ann Campbell where they get their chance to pay off the two Marybelles and help their fellow sufferers still at the Orphanage. Betty MacDonald has a gift of story telling and a gift of laughter- and both combine here in a story that reveals the philosophical phases of children's thinking.