His father died a hero; years later, Dave left a friend's outstretched hand to go for help and now he considers himself a coward. Visiting Uncle Burk in Texas, he starts in the oil field, gets shifted to KP after a dizzy panic. Passing through (from Mexico to Chicago), Mexican comtemporary Domingo takes his place and his padrecito camps down with stores of Pancho Villa and Halley's Comet (of 1910). In addition to the rigged contrast between Dave, and Domingo there's a separate soured father stereotype (what money won't buy) and a couple of not-human-but-lovable pets: Absalom the goat (he's hairy) and Cookie the roadrunner (the cook is named Soup). Uncle, financially helped by the Mexicans, strikes oil after all those years of paying back depts, Dave gets to rescue Domingo to prove himself, and the sourpuss shows signs of relaxing. A labored partnership.