New Mexico as a background for a series of episodes dealing with members of a rural community, down at the heel, and expecting momentarily the promised government aid. A thinly spun plot, with the interest focussed on the ""types"" which make up the community, and the little romances and tragedies and sondid dramas and small adventures that go to build their daily lives. The meeting outside the town community center, whipped into hysteria by the rumor that first there was gold and food within -- and then there wasn't -- forms the connecting link, but the story -- as a unit -- is ill-sustained, and the book leaves an impression of a sharply etched scene, crisp characterization, a plot blurred at the edges, a number of facets of one small segment of modern life. A book that bears small relation to his earlier work (Fault Of Angels; Main Line West, etc.). Almost a novelette in length.