Embarrassed that his house is also a depot, Barney misses New York City, needs a burro for the July 4th parade, wants to join the Silvertown Rangers. Most of all, he needs a friend, and Indian Jim Owl, his eleven-year-old equal, is just not like Steven who lived next door, not like Dusty Dow, the Rangers' leader. Barney resents the ""dude"" designation but the Indian way is strange; still, he knows Jim sees things he never notices and he enjoys swapping biggests and bests (four rattlesnakes vs. five gangsters at one time). Comes the Glorious Fourth, Barney comes closer to understanding friendship, gives his prize blanket (with the Sears label) to Jim and gets encouragement from desirable Dusty. Striking a healthy balance between loneliness and uncertainty but almost too quiet to be heard. The vague southwest ghost town setting, which contributes to Barney's problem, is conveyed in taciturn pen sketches.