A first novel by a young Negro, too reminiscent of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men for its own good. The same note cannot ring true, twice, it seems, or perhaps it is that this author lacks the artistry of the other, in telling a story that has moments of emotional fervor, moments of tenderness. This is a story of two road bums and the youngster they drag along. They get a job at a sheep ranch -- get in trouble with the daughter -- try to make a getaway, and so on. There are nice spots -- but the book as a whole doesn't quite come off. Tough talk -- not for the squeamish.