A Southern story teller to be reckoned with-- eventually-- is Reynolds Price whose last book was the prize- winning, A Long and Happy Life. ""Eventually"" is used advisedly, because the author who favors the use of pre-adolescent narrators must learn that if a child is to gain and hold the attention of an adult audience, the child really should have something arresting to say. As the short stories go, the best of the collection is The Anniversary, in which a 72 year old spinster and a small colored boy share a walk and talk to the graveside of the man she almost carried. He understands much more than she knows and says much more than she hears, and the difficult method of telling a story between their lines comes off beautifully. Rosacoke, of A Long and Happy Life, is here again in the first story, A Chain of Love, at her dying grandfather's bedside, and with great sensitivity, the author shows how much more real to her, how much more accepted by her, is the death of another patient, who is a stranger, than is the slow passing of her beloved grandfather. All of these stories examine the kinds, strengths and failures of love and its effects on a personal vision of reality, through the accounts of Negroes and children. The title story is the longest of the book. A young son discovers his father as a man with flaws and as a personal hero to be lived with in affection and honor, clay feet irritatingly in sight. An interesting addition to the work of an author who seems destined to grow in stature.