In this ""pastoral romance"" an orphaned half-Indian youth on his own in the Canadian wilderness, and another waif living with her unpleasant foster parents, gabble away like George and Lenny during one idyllic summer. Marie teaches woodsman Pierre to read and write: ""You'll open a book and you'll read this. . . 'Tell me, muse, of the man of many wiles' and after that you won't be able to stop."" (But Pierre is only beginning on the G's.) After an exchange of lonesome confessions, views on killing animals, and more alphabet lore, the summer draws to an end. Marie's foster parents conveniently expire in a burning house and the two part--leaving Pierre to read, write, and wait for that knock on the door. Marie's forensics are along this order: ""Things like that--flies, toads, snakes--people hate them, They must feel sad all the time. It's terrible. So I hate people who hate them. So! They can all die"". So! Unlucky Pierre.