Armchair range-riders will enjoy the sleuthing of Ted Holliday, 16, a boy growing up on the Lazy L Ranch, in Fisher County Texas, 1897. When an outlaw pony with light spottings appears on his father's ranch, Ted resolves to make the animal his own, despite opposition from sullen Lump Mooney, a ranchhand. Unravelling the mystery of the horse's ancestry aquaints Ted with the secret life old Squint Owl had led for many years. The elderly Indian had been breeding the last of the Nez Perce Indian war ponies in a canyon to fulfill the command of Chief Joseph, the leader of the Nez Perces who had led this tribe almost to Canada in order to defy government regulations on reservations. Since 1877, when the tribe lost its battle at Bear Daw Mountain, Montana, the faithful Nez Perce had nurtured the last of the stock into a healthy band of horses. For the chaps-and-spurs market.