A story essay on the small New Mexican farming town of Cerrito, near the Rio Cerrito, focusses on the Romero family, but its rays come from the breadths of history, the mixture of Indian and Spanish customs and a felt knowledge of the economy of the land. In the small town, complete with its square (church opposite the gas station), adobe houses and mixed population, the Romeros are typical. At the center of their existence is the irrigation system they have used for ages-that of running a mother ditch off from the river and around all the fields each of which gets its own offshoot of water. When it is dry prayers and Indian dances are answered with life giving rain. Karl Larsson's colored pictures, many of which diagram the system are fine compliments to a story that again shows Mr. La Farge's sensitive respect for the southwest.