Could there have been a basis in fact for the legends about ginseng growing in the Big Swamp near Ron Peter's family's farm on Turkeyfoot Mountain, in Pennsylvania? Ron hoped there was. If the old stories and songs were correct, he might be able to sell the roots to buy a flock of sheep. Then he could finish high school and go to college. With his timid friend Alex, Ron tracked down the source of the mysterious laughter in the swamp which had frightened away local mountain people. The comradeship between Ron and his sidekick adds immeasurably to the story line. The author neatly toes the mark between giving his readers enough scares to keep them glued to his trail, while avoiding sensationalism or luridness. Ron and Alec dare the ""haunts"" of the swamp to find the cave where long ago a hermit had cached his supply of ginseng roots. Two strong central characters, a search and an off-beat theme measure up to a story of unfailing interest.