When Harriet Rose, William and Dicky arrive by train, with bundles and bags, to spend the summer holidays with Cousin Polly, uncontrolled chatter and confusion ensue -- almost to the last page of the book. The children are not clearly defined as individuals; they are blurred throughout. Location is not mentioned, but the Anglicisms in the dialogue give a clue. The children camp out by a stream, they begin building a bridge; Polly injures her ankle; two haughty domineering old maid-relatives arrive and spoil most of the summer. Events follow one another slowly and the whole is stretched out to an ineffective length.