THE VAGABONDS by Frank Bonham


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Bonham leaves the city streets for the plush suburbs of southern California and the rugged east coastline of Baja California, as a plucky teenager pursues ""my father, the vandal."" Actually, Eric Hansen, Sr. isn't the criminal type--just a retired businessman turned busybody, fed up with Rancho Sereno, who leaves home without a word. Eric Jr. follows (i.e. cuts out of school--with his mother's reluctant permission) to bring him back. It takes several days before the boy realizes that Mr. Hansen is knowingly avoiding him; meanwhile he meets a marine biologist who sparks his interest (is tenacity innate or acquired?) and his grabby daughter Polly who hangs on for a bit. At each stop he hears praise for his father's mechanical wizadry; his own capacities are not so rigorously challenged until he crosses an old diver who demands his help. After a week or so of sailing with little help, his father's impulses are more comprehensible and so are his own. Agile, resilient, discerning.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1969
Publisher: Dutton