When the Tories come into the Carolina frontier demanding allegiance to the British king, Benjy Brant's father refuses and Benjy has to watch while the family sheep herd is slaughtered and the wool house burned. Angry at his father for not ""lying a little"" to save the family livelihood, Benjy jumps at the first chance to run off to some independent adventure. He falls in with the group led by Francis Marion, the ""swamp fox."" A year of real-life war makes a man of Benjy, so that, at the end, out of a loyalty and conviction of his own he risks his life for an idea too. The author has a way of enriching dialogue with a regional flavor, and characterization is fairly good. The action is, however, occasionally hazy, where it should be most graphic, and a tone of indulgence toward young people does creep in (""He had a young boy's dream of running off and coming to glory, and a good licking certainly burnishes one's ambition for that sort of thing.""), but not enough to put off a real Revolutionary War buff.