Mark was alone in the world and penniless, when the sheriff in the New Mexico town where his mother had died found a place for him on a ranch. There- with the help of the cowboys and the peppery housekeeper- he won the right to be considered a ""regular cowboy"" -- and the place in the heart of the saddened owner, whose own wife and boy had been killed. It has the works- demanded by young enthusiasts on the subject of cowboys,- details of learning to ride, to break a horse, roundup, stampede, cattle thieves. And Mark passes all the tests. While this may go to opposite extreme from Martin's Once a Cowboy (Viking- P. 401) in avoiding the cheap and free use of pseudo- cowboy lingo, and may be tagged as slightly sentimental, there's plenty of authentic routine.