Dad, the fulcrum of the family, has been hit by a car and is hospitalized--indefinitely-for a head injury so Mum, mothered by Dad's boss, rents the suburban house to his replacement, moves the three children--but not dog Jelly--into a tiny apartment and goes to work for the firm. Appalled at the prospect of leavy Jelly. Tim, the youngest, tries to see Dad but stumbles upon wealthy Lady Paine, also hurt in the accident and pours out his problem to her instead: whereupon (you might say) she dies leaving him her property in Essex, news of which reaches the family just at the moment they've found the apartment intolerable. Rather than sell Caldicott Place, Tim would keep it for Jelly and for his father's convalescence--but how can they maintain a mansion? Ah! Lady Paine's solicitors have three rich wards who need a place to stay during the upcoming holidays--but ""How was (Mum) to cope with the heir to a peerage, a millionaire's daughter and a little savage of nine?"" The balance is old Shoes with Miss Streatfeild's usual gloss: the poor little rich kids perk up, the nine-year-old terror is put down, and Dad comes out of his shell as good as new. Which is fitting because nothing ever changes in these books--the displays of artistic temperament, the condescending tone. the class consciousness. Only away from the theatre it all seems out of place.