This is the story of Mama -- sometimes of Papa -- and her unflagging belief in her abilities which united her family but which kept her eyes angry. For Papa was not as rich as everyone thought; Papa went to try his fortune in South Africa and, with the war, Mama was going to join him. With three children she made her way from Libau, on the Baltic, through Russia, Japan -- and finally to Durban -- two years of travel, with little money, sickness, hunger, strange interludes and small miracles -- only to find Papa trading with the natives. Mama's bustlings drove them into town, with soap making, cosmetics, syrups and assortments of make-do products to keep them going; there were automobiles and a plano -- and another baby (the author); there was Uncle Max, real estate, cattle, chickens, a bakery which all combine to portray a forceful, dynamic, perhaps, obstinate female whose husband and children adjusted -- or else. The distaff side in unpredictable disturbances, in foreign lands.