Josh Plowman, fourteen, in distress and disgrace on his first visit to peculiar old Aunt Clara . . .the strangely hostile country boys threatening, tripping him. . .malicious cricket players converging on Josh, pushing, throwing him in the water. . .Josh not ratting. . .later, the air cleared, Aunt Clara smiling, ""They respect you now, Josh."" Josh's dilemma in accessible trickles of consciousness, sharp dry bursts of humor relieving the painful immediacy, Southall's sure instinct for making the most of a misunderstanding propelling these Australian antagonists along. . .and readers with them.