This is another (The Running Foxes-1966) memoir of very rural England, this time Bruton-under-the-Water, an anachronistic English village where horses still count for more than men. The title referral is to the massive Shire horses, now dying out, which once tilled medieval England's soil and carried its mail clad knights in tilts and jousts. As symbols of a beautiful past, they are juxtaposed against the unaesthetic materialism of modern times. Josh Johnson, in order to preserve the Bruton line, contends against all kinds of disasters and one meets other villagers who are cut out of the same sturdy cardboard. Indeed it is the horses themselves, and other members of the animal kingdom, who are most fully characterized. The plot unfolds slowly, jogs along at a predictable pace, and is filled with a kind of sentiment which directs it toward a retrospective readership.