Mary Ann Shaughnessy, eight years old (""that uncanny child who had the temper of a banshee and the coaxing ways of the wee folk"") in a noisy comeback. Here she exploits further the inexplicable infatuation of ""Mr. Lord"" who owns the farm on which her Da, whose penchant for drink was his undoing last time around, now works as a hand. Mary Ann fights for his honor with ""swanky-talking"" schoolmates, a vindictive farm manager, and a wicked grandmother. Da has one drunken spree, later loses a hand in machinery but it all ends happy by half. And Mrs. Cookson concludes that if you don't believe, ""It'll serve you right if nothing nice ever happens to you. It will so."" And Mary Ann's a wee headache, she is so.