A grimly ironical, occasionally tender, often amusing, always satirical story of miners on the dole -- the setting Wales (presumably), the time between the wars. Four youngish men have managed to keep their perspective and their humor despite their situation -- almost they might be Welsh counterparts of Steinbeck's memorable characters in Tortilla Flat. Natural philosophers, these, who enjoy serving as arbiters of the fate of their fellow sufferers in the Valley, and particularly of the Morrises. Mr. Morris epitomizes the portrait of degradation on the dole; Eurona, the one bright light of his household, might have played Galatea to their Pygmalion, but, lured by false gods, she fails them -- and they get a sort of bitter justice as they play their game to the end. Thomas has a flare- but his subject is unlikely to reach a popular market.