The Carricks' everyday, unaccented verity is applied here to a special occasion: Old Home Day on the village common, where Paul's father buys him a second yellow balloon (""with a long string to keep it out of trouble"") after the first one floats away. With the balloon attached to his wrist, Paul gets permission to go off and watch the pony pulling contest, but by the time it's over, the crowds have grown thicker and Paul can't find his parents. His father finds him, though, by looking for ""the highest yellow balloon on the common""--and next day, after all the people, booths, and goods have gone, Paul's balloon is still with him. Instead of drumming up excitement, the Carricks emphasize the homey textures of the event; Paul's momentary panic is similarly undramatized. Not a gripping experience, but a genuine one.