A story about the Revolutionary War and its effect on the Americanized Germans (never referred to as ""Pennsylvania Dutch"") near Reading, Pa. Margaret's brother John has gone to war; her younger brother Jacob wants to join. Her heart turns toward neighbor George, until Jacob tells her that George has not taken the Loyalty Oath. When Jacob joins the army, their shoemaker father is left with hundreds of orders for boots for the colonial army. At a makeshift hospital where John is taken, Margaret befriends a young Hessian, Christian; since he is a shoemaker, she arranges for him to work for her father instead of facing imprisonment, and comes to care for him. He is drawn to her, but dares not say so because it was he who wounded her brother. Unfaithful George meanwhile makes overtures to him to carry messages to the British. When John dies, Christian realizes that he has been converted to the American cause, confesses to Margaret, then runs away to fight. George pursues, thinking Christian is betraying him, and Margaret convinces George to let her go with him. The information they carry concerns the weak point in the fort at Stony Point on the Hudson, information that could change the nature of the war. Naturally, good triumphs. Christian even leads the charge at Stony Point against the British, and Margaret and Christian are united. Although at times coincidence intrudes and motivation is stretched, this is a vivid, action-filled account of a difficult time in the quest for freedom. The German-Americans' loyalty and their contempt for the mercenary Hessians are well-drawn, as is the determination of ordinary people to be a free nation.