Elliott Cameron, a petted American girl, has come to Highboro while her father goes to Europe for a year on war business for the Government. But she has gone reluctantly, and means to leave as soon as the quarantine is lifted from her Uncle James's house, where her cousin Quincy has come down with scarlet fever. Stannard, Quincy's brother, has preceded her to Highboro. Elliott, motherless from babyhood, has always had her own way, and she inwardly rebels at visiting these Cameron relatives whom she has never met. Yet she cannot help liking Uncle Bob and Aunt Jessica and all the Highboro cousins, from Laura, eighteen, to Priscilla, aged eight, including an unexplained boy called Bruce Fearing. But for all that she was homesick, quite desperately homesick, and would certainly have cried herself to sleep that first night if Laura and Gertrude and Aunt Jessica hadn't come in to sit on the bed and talk.