The determined rise of a man from nowhere is framed in the fortunes of Old Orchards, Inc., a medium sized family company with best quality foods in Pennsylvania, when Jim Pulliam, the new general sales manager, pushes his ambition to compete with Clippinger Grocery Chain and its big time operations. Pulliam's actions are the concern of Howard Freeman, a friend from the war, who has recently headed up the advertising department. And when Jim runs counter to the Brotheralls' policies, when his strategy verges on the unscrupulous, and when the effects of his drive result in his wife's near-collapse, it is Howard who discovers that Bill Brotherall is willing to let Jim have his head. But when the new order disrupts the security of the plant and Jim's personal and business treachery is found out, it is Jim's wife who finds the answer in persuading Clippinger's Fitzpatrick to give Jim's talents the chance for their best employment. Within the frame of factory procedures, conventions, sales promotion, business integrity, - and personal conflicts, the portrait is detailed in the complex of a not wholly unethically aggressive character whose better qualities are worth someone else's efforts in saving. The variations on a familiar theme are capably compounded in this first novel.