Sid Fleischman has gone into a tall tale spin again, and as always the results are totally enjoyable. The plot is an old saw --a teenage boy heads across country to find the members of his family, which was split up when his parents died during the Civil War. But here there's an extra, added, miracle ingredient-- Uncle Will Buckthorn. Chancy was chopping down trees for steamboat fare and at the same time trying to look after his wheelbarrow-ful of possessions and the brood of chicks which were hatching from the "fresh" eggs he'd been buffaloed into buying when his Uncle Will first appeared. It takes no time at all to discover that (for once) Will was telling the straight truth when he claimed that "I can out-laugh, out-exaggerate and out-rascal any man this side of the Big Muddy, and twice as many on the other!" They work and they joke their way on to steamboat passage, to reassembling the family, to traveling out to Sun Dance, Kansas, and to capturing a band of outlaws. It's just the right tone that would really have appealed to Chancy and his contemporaries, and the sometimes wildly funny West comes off here with an underlying sense of authenticity.