Hard to say whether this is fiction or autobiography, so authentic a note does it strike in the picture of a boyhood in Kansas two decades or so before the close of the century. There is little action, but a great deal of wry and homely humor, a sharp eye and pen for the daily scene in pioneer Kansas. A tart bit of Americana, with vignettes of local farmers, hard-shelled Baptists with raucous religious rites; the stern labor of the fields; the sadistic persecution of the younger boy by the older. There was no self-indulgence, no pampering. At thirteen, the boy took over his father's work; at seventeen he tried his hand at railroading; finally -- and here the story ends, drifted into journalism, and came under the tutelage of William Allen White. Specialized a bit, perhaps, but nice going, and good Americana.