After finding The Key to the Treasure (1966) at Grandpa's house, Jed and Liza and Bill start after the missing kitten scraps: Grandma puts them out for the neighboring children each evening and during the night they disappear. So does new puppy Jelly Bean. . . and Liza's red sweater. . . and some of the best blackberries. A newspaper story about runaway stepchildren convinces the quick-sympathy threesome that they are the prowlers, especially after finding a trail into the woods, and they set out some solid food. The explanation is less maudlin if no more probable, but it hardly matters: the kids scrap convincingly among themselves, they're always on the go, and there are enough clues in the woods and narrow serapes in the kitchen to keep readers rushing along.