We've been pulling for Richter since the publication of his first volume of short stories. Successive novels, Sea of Grass, The Trees, Tacy Cromwell, each one seems to us to be significant American frontier material, handled with restraint, poetic imagination, sensitivity. Now comes The Freeman, a story of a Pennsylvania Dutchman, who in his ninetieth year goes back to his youth and relives the story of winning his right to his chosen name, Henry Frey (Free). It is a story of a murky phase of trading in human life, when ships' masters sold simple minded peasant folk into bendage to pay for their passage. Henner's passage had been paid, but his parents died at sea, and he inherited their debt. His way of paying that debt was not the way of other man, and in his determined fight for freedom, he embodied the spirit of seeing the right and living it that won the freedom for the Colonies. It is a slight book, but adventure and romance and a good yarn are packed into its pages. It isn't the book that will make Richter a ""best seller"" -- but it is a worthy addition to a distinguished list. Saturday Evening Post serialization.