Feeling sorry for herself--in so many words--after a month at Uncle Charley's ranch, Jill sees Boot Ray stealing chickens and then the feathers begin to fly. . . right into pigeonholes. Poor Boot--forced to steal by a cruel father, the resident cowboy who deflects his bad light on the resident Indian. And poor Velvet, new-found friend and school-hungry daughter of the Indian. When Velvet's father is about to be arrested for Mr. Ray's dirty work, the two girls hole up in a cave but by the end everyone has a place to go--Mr. Ray to jail, Velvet to Jill's home and school, Boot to better pickings in Uncle Charley's house. . . and the reader to sleep.