Every fictional boy taking his first steps toward manhood is almost automatically measured against Huckleberry Finn. Though Carlton, the boy of his novel, is English, the author escapes the barrier and Carlton seems very contemporary. Most of the story itself deals with his friendship for and attempt to help an ""insane"" murderer-fugitive hiding in the manor. When he is caught and returned to the asylum, the author's plain, sometimes too plain, style conveys that at the incident's end Carlton has found the necessary means of growing up-- a soul, a way of seeing the world, an experience, all a fitting conclusion to a pleasing small novel. Fractional.