Neil Gunn's market is a fairly predictable one; those of us who like him like him very much,- like him for his ability to carry us into the lives and hearts of his Scottish villagers, like him for conveying the sense of conflict between their taunt pride and their deep conviction of the rightness of their way. Here we have a story that combines an inarticulate romance with the battle of one youth for a new way of life for his people. His road is blocked by his own unwillingness to defend himself against calumny. The evil power of gossip has its way, and Iain is labeled a dastardly coward, hiding behind others the secret of his attack on his benefactor (while actually he had been his rescuer); hiding behind ill health the truth about the scene in his employer's office (a scene precipitated by his discovery that his opponent had secreted evidence that would have proved the right of the claim made by one of the men of Iain's native village). There's better pace of story and adventure than in some of his earlier work, though he still bogs down in irrelevancies at times. But always, his people ring true, and his picture of the period between wars is vividly drawn.