Focusing on thirteen-year old Cav Rand who is literally alone on the wild rail from Alabama to Louisiana, Mr. Wormser paints a detailed picture of the rugged fe of Texas cattle drovers in the 1870's. After selling his wagon and team of oxen to Bruce Cavanagh-- ""Big Cav""--, a respected drover, little Cav becomes a student in Alexandria. Itchy in school boy's clothing after a few days, he runs away and joins Big Cav on the drive to Texas. The courageous thirteen year old (who does seem a bit older than his years) is forced to play a man's part; because he is most successful with the oxen, Cav is sent alone across the desert to drop water barrels at intervals for the drovers who will follow. The agonizing dry drive, and the relentless flood which comes later, are realistically described in this carefully controlled, fast-paced tale which is all for boys.