This potential De Mille movie plot, this barrel of spiced and pickled surdity is thwacked together with such spirit that few readers will deny themselves the pleasure of suspending, their disbelief. Mr. Vaughan plumps down his pages with an-baked matter-of-factness and a refreshing absence of lumps in his prose. Cliches abound, including a last-minute rescue by the cavalry (how much better that everyone should go down bayoneted and cursing!), but the reader is spared the heroine's conventional jewelled sentiments and the villain's dastardly innuendoes. It's all straightforward. What happens? Well, the hero, a Yankee officer, goes into British-occupied New York Town and, by sheer deftness, engineers the mass escape of 230 prisoners by clothing them all in redcoats, and marching them out of town, through Jersey and down to Valley Forge. Not very likely? No, it isn't. But it happens before your very eyes and, as every moviegoer knows, that's what really counts. When the coup occurs, the reader is only too willing to help the author along by closing an eye or two. Mr. Vaughan likes his story--which is half of any novelist's battle.