There's a real interest here in the story of Piney, a backwoods boy of Mississippi from the start, when he is making a coffin for his father who is sentenced to death for murder, to the end, when he has freed himself from his slave-life with his only relative. For his father's cousin takes him home with him, to work on his farm, and there Piney and Doff, who is boarded out by his uncaring mother, in spite of their harsh, forced labor, make the most of their outdoor adventures. Piney learns that Doff is to be sold back to his mother and loses Doff's friendship but when Doff runs away from his new life, it is Piney he seeks out -- Piney who is ready for flight because he believes he has killed Spang's brother. The boys make their way to Louisiana to find a chance acquaintance, are pursued by Spang and it is a tornado which writes an ending and resolves Piney's problems. Melodrama here but without heavy accent, tenderness in the understanding of an orphan boy and his relation to the adult world, and a simplicity of style -- all are woven into a story of fresh interest.