With its basis in fact, this is a horse story destined to reach the enthusiastic audience for Thunder and Pat's Harmony. Tom Larkin, 14, son of the U.S. Consul to Mexican California in 1845, is the central figure and we meet him on the day he is given a buckskin stallion, The General, a trouble maker on the ranch of Tom's friend, Carlos Alvarado's uncle. The General brooks no roughness and has been accused of being a killer. But Tom's faith in him is unshakeable and during the months The General is with him, the horse wins fame as a hero, though the stigma still persists. Then, with the coming of Fremont to California, other elements enter the picture. Inspired by Fremont, Tom finds his loyalties strained as between his country and Carlos, who is equally confused. Tom seizes the chance to join Fremont, and when the chance comes to save Fremont's life, by forfeiting The General, Tom knows the choice is inevitable. Grade A adventure.