Martin knows his background, for the material in this book is based on an actual California ranch for boys. But he falls down on fundamentals in making credible plot or central character,- a dude rich boy who knew none of the facts of a cowboy world. From abysmal ignorance of the jargon, he learns in a few paragraphs to sling it with the worst of them; from wanting a room of his own, he learned to take punishment- and dish it out, with three toughs of fourteen and up, who determined to teach that ""panty waist"" a thing or two with the gloves. By the end of the book he was ""regular"" and balked at nothing. But the serious approach to what reads like a radio-cowboy montage, complete with trimmings, stymies even uncritical youth.