Far, far from his gentlemanly manhunts on the moors or rough shoots in the hedges, this is an absolutely splendid spellbinder which walks softly through the South American jungle and poses some extraterritorial imperatives, primarily fear, instinctual fear, a scent on the wind. . . . Dr. Owen Dawnay, an agronomist, an equable, likable young man, runs an experimental station in Colombia in the outlands--a ""last, forgotten blind alley of grass"" on the edge of a forest. He is sent, as a gift, a fifteen-year-old Indian girl with a ""deplorably vague"" history, Chucha, and Chucha is affectionate, teachable and infinitely gratifying. In fact by the close of this diary (Dawnay's), one suspects that his ""firefly"" has really effected a slow burn. However, most of this account deals with Dawnay's attempts to isolate the dancing dwarfs who seem to move through the trees of the jungle, startle his ponies, infest the natives with an ancient terror (they call them duendes--spirits?) and kill--or is it the revolutionary guerrillas? The jungle has never seemed more awesome and hypnotic and this is a stunning confrontation of man and beast which could easily outdistance Rogue Male as a Household favorite.