Jaybird and Crazy Dan - An 11-year-old kid and a wild-eyed mountain man, off on a riotous adventure starting on an Ozark Mountain river and finding its way to a major league baseball park . . . Huckleberry Finn would have loved it.
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Giessow's Cottage Farm is a resort in the Ozark Mountains where Jaybird goes with this family every summer. But this summer is different because a new baby sister has joined the family, and Jaybird feels so neglected that he has decided to run away from home with his dog, Rin. Jaybird's 11-year -old head is in for a confusing, adventurous whirl when he meets Phil, a wild-eyed mountain man. Jaybird quickly sees that Phil is a little bit crazy, but he likes him because Phil is the only grownup who doesn't treat him like a kid. In the next week Jaybird survives a wild ride on a raging river, lamost loses his life to a firecracker accident, falls in love , rides in a railway cattle car, eats Mulligan stew in a hobo camp, wins $500 in a crap game, serves as batboy for a major league baseball team, wins a fortune on a horserace, then loses it in a flash flood. But all this is nothing compared to what Jaybird faces when he returns with Phil to his family at Giessow's Cottage Farm
Curled in a ball under the boat, Jaybird heard the crunch of gravel come closer. He held his breath. the crunch stopped. Jaybird imagined someone close-by looking at the boat. After an interminable wait the unseen presence began a slow walk around the boat, and then sat down on the river side of the inverted boat. Jaybird could see the shadow of two feet, but the space between the sand and the edge of the boat was too small for him to estimate the size of the person attached to the feet. He could only assume that whoever it was was bigger and stronger than him, and would cause him harm if he were discovered. He lay perfectly still with his good left hand gently stroking Rin who seemed to sense the gravity of the situation.