A short morality tale this is lighter in tone than the recent The Far Mountains (1959) and earlier books, and bases its story on an education in the values of living. For the Rio Arriba still remembers the exploits of Talache Coyote whose dashing abductions of girls about to be married and raiding of the rich delighted the inhabitants around Taos. Now the wedding of Barbara Reeves calls for his chastening presence. Appear he does -- after some dozen years of absence, carries Barbara off to his mountain hideout, and breaks through her stuffy standards to return her remade to her avaricious father. In exchange Talache, again disguised, is given what Mr. Reeves prizes most -- a thoroughbred mare. Quixotic, this holds a folk lore quality with moments of mischievous humor.