A return to the States after a life in the Philippines brings a youngster who is a born leader some lessons in democracy and some luck that earns him another reward. First in the Philippines where his father is a consulting engineer, young Blair is pictured as the ""boss"" of a gang of boys in the rural school- but when the Whitneys must leave, he gets an inkling that the boys may be more indulgent than dependent on him. Then in Manila, Blair loses $50 that their housemaid has given him to buy a watch for a friend's Christmas present a year hence. In America, with the money to worry about, Blair soon finds himself in hot water again at school- for he tries to treat his classmates the way he treated the Filipino boys- finds it doesn't work and must learn the hard way that good intentions need cooperation to make them flower. The $50 comes too, by way of a valuable Rizal statuette. Good contrasts between characters and countries deepens a good adventure.