This is another of Carrick's Christopher stories, all of which read like straight-forward true accounts rather than cooked-up stories. Here, on the night that Christopher and his mother arrive at their summer cottage, a storm cuts off the phone and electricity and washes out a stretch of the road to town, so that Mom can't get through for groceries. Christopher decides on his own to pole a drifting rowboat across the lake, then hitchhike to Humphry's store. Once there, he loads up on groceries, and Mr. Humphry arranges a ride back as far as the washout and his worried mother. Christopher's dog Ben is with him all the way, swimming along behind as he crosses the lake, and there's nothing more dramatic in the adventure than Chris' awkward attempt to pull Ben into the rowboat, with the danger recognized in retrospect: ""Christopher lost his balance and almost fell overboard. His heart was pounding. He realized he was alone on the lake and how close he had come to falling in."" Nice and steady, one step at a time--and it all adds up to a fine sense of accomplishment at the end.