How can John learn to love a new stepfather? When John Klessig's father dies suddenly, Mama marries Mr. Ernst - who is very different from Papa. His beard and his boots are big, and he doesn't want to help new families the same way Papa did with the inn. Without warning, fire threatens the village. John and all the neighbors, including the Indians, help each other as friends. But where is Mr. Ernst? How can John and his new stepfather learn to love and respect each other?