The Depression year of 1933 finds the Armistead family of Wolverton, Mass., low on cash and with only a few horses left in a stable once full of hunters and jumpers. Maggie, 13, her horse Star, and her 10-year-old brother, Bugsy, a butterfly expert, join forces to earn money to buy back their Aunt Cinny's horse. In the process Maggie wins a horse show event with Star, and an essay contest in which she reveals several mysteries hidden in the poetry of dead Uncle Wallace. Included in this so-so tale is the finding of long lost letters of the now famous Uncle, the establishing of a thriving butterfly farm tended by Bugsy in his grandfather's study, and a romance between a young reporter and Aunt Cinny. With probably interest girls who swallow whole books on horses.