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The prize is the usual -- buried treasure. The tracking is a little more original but has too many loopholes, and involves too many issues, some of which are too delicate for the superficial treatment provided. 12-year-old Danny Collins has been left alone in the world by the death of his father -- the result of an automobile accident. The accident has been termed the result of drunken driving, but Danny knows that his father never drank and is sure that the evidence of liquor must have been planted. In the background is a suggestion of the father's personality as a man who could not provide for his family because of a driving desire to find a hidden treasure, but the relationship with his son is barely examined. Danny disappears from his temporary home to see if he can discover any clues to support his suspicions and is. Joined along the way by Matthew Pinal, an Apache boy who has also run away. This brings into the picture some of the social problems of modern Indians, the integrated friendship of Danny and Matthew, as well as the physical difficulties of surviving in the woods and hiding from the search party. At the scene of the crime (which doesn't seem to distress Danny at all) they find all the clues neatly stacked, discover the map of the buried treasure, and learn the cause of Mr. Collins' death (it really was an accident, arising out of the carelessness of a retarded Indian). On the whole this is a tasteless mystery, involving too many emotional factors without sufficient character probing.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1965
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman