dess knows her west, but I still think her Balken stories were a more original contribution to modern children's literature than her more recent work. This is, however, a better than average story of a boy who proved that even a tenderfoot had a contribution to make, when he came to live with his aunt in a small, somewhat rundown ranch, in the Southwest. There's a bit of a mystery which rather comes a cropper, and there's plenty of adventure. But somehow one gets comparatively little sense of place or period. Presumably the time is virtually contemporary.