Stella Bevan, at the age of eleven, did not enjoy helping her older brothers build a boat. She looked forward to the arrival of a French girl who was coming to spend the summer. When Marie's brother appears instead, Stella is disappointed, but she and Philippe become great companions. They share a common interest in Sammy, a retarded, child-like man, whom the children like because he has a strange understanding of animals. The figurehead of the Evelyn Star, a trading schooner which long ago had been captained by Sammy's father, becomes mysterious to the children. The involved plot is deftly controlled; there is a lot of suspense. The children are energetic individuals, and the atmosphere of Wales and the old town is delightfully real in this far-above-average mystery. Miss Fry is the author of The Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry and other books in which she makes extensive use of regional background.