Nate is thrilled when on his ninth birthday, mom and dad allow him to join Uncle Jason on his travels around the countryside, selling assorted sundries. His joy is somewhat abated by the competition he finds in Sandy, Uncle Jason's regular assistant. Bitten by the ""jealous bug"". Nate is frustrated by Sandy's superior ability and general efficiency. Yet he is ashamed when he almost mistakes Sandy for a bear cub found rummaging through the money bag. Sandy's generosity and Nate's own struggle to outwit his jealousy result in a true and lasting friendship between the boys. This is a short book not sufficiently steeped in the flavor of the traveling store era.