The Scottish lads convince their father of their ability to run a horse breeding farm in the Highlands and are given permission to a bonnic bit of land on Ben Awe. Before long, the boys are distracted by the appearance of a half starved mare roaming their property and by the gloominess of the farm on the opposite side of the hill. They soon discover that one man is responsible for both situations. He is Jed Kintyre, owner of the mysterious Ekieth, virtual jailer of his niece, and, above all, cruel disciplinarian of wild ponies. On a long shot, Colin and Bruce buy the mare and set about re-training her, but they soon see that Kintyre cannot be ignored. When the boys are robbed of two of their horses they to get to the bottom of the mystery, and manage to gather enough evidence to convict Jed of horse stealing and cattle rustling. The problem here is pace. Any inherent excitement is preempted by the slow crawl at which the plot moves. Readers may also have trouble with such dialect remarks as ""Aw gae an' fa' doon deid!"".