State or territory -- it mattered profoundly in days when the balance in Congress of slave states or free was a vital issue. And Florida was divided into two areas -- might have been two states except that the North refused to allow two new slave states to be added. But the issue was deeper than that in the hearts of Floridians, some of whom held staunchly to the hope of abolition, others to a tightening of the slave laws. This is the story of Eben, who had escaped from a slaver- and found a measure of freedom in the home of his rescuer, Richard. But the threat hung over them and Eben chose that sort of freedom the Indians had found in the secret places of the Everglades, and finally in the opportunity across the seas. It is a thrilling story, against a glowing picture of Florida's beaches and swamps and woodlands; each of the boys stands out as an individual, the issues sharply defined as they work to their own solutions. Mrs. Douglas' name is well established in this area through her memorable The Everglades River of Grass.