In a slapstick comedy, an unlikely group of travelers makes a daredevil trek across the desert. Awful Ivan, Keeper of the Blessed Hacienda border station, and his assistant, Halfway Hebe, find big trouble on their portion of the US-Mexican border. To Ivan, it means aliens from some remote planet invading. Ivan's paranoia starts a military alert on both sides of the border. Little do the officials know that the cause is merely five dusty, tired children, who have fallen off a truck while making illegal entry into the United States. The children soon meet Suitcase Charlie Jones, runner par excellence, who takes them on a 40-mile run to safety, eluding their many pursuers. The pace of this tongue-in-cheek adventure story is slam bang; it is peopled with a cast of characters each more zany than the last. Much of the humor is sophisticated; puns and other plays on words abound. Black-and-white illustrations reflect the same off-the-wall humor. For the adventurous reader, a nice change of pace.