The sibling rivalry between two adolescents, Chris Clark and his elder brother, Larry, is resolved when asthmatic Chris finds health and enthusiasm in his studies of the Arizona desert. Chris, unable to compete with his brother in athletics, withdraws into his own world. When he inadvertently stumbles upon some Indian relics, he devotes all his time to independent excavations, and while uncovering the secrets of the desert, discovers his own purpose in life and wins the respect of Larry, who in turn, he learns to understand. An interesting and perhaps more pertinent issue in this book is Chris' conflict between his school work and his new-found interest. His final resolve to devote his energy to his studies in the realization that this is, after all, the shortest route to his professional aspirations, is handled with intelligence and comprehension.