'Terry is twelve years old when our story opens, and rather sad at the thought of leaving his home in Australia and going to stay with his grandfather in Cumberland. He arrives in England on a damp, drizzly day and this does nothing to raise his spirits. His grandfather, Colonel Morton, is rather an autocratic and snobbish old man, and this does not endear him to Terry.
'However, there is a young cousin, Susan, whom Terry befriends and this helps him to settle down in his new home. The new experience of a snowy winter is a real thrill to Terry, and he greatly enjoys himself. Being able to continue his favourite pursuit of riding, he feels that England is not going to be so bad as he imagined.
'One thing his grandfather will not allow is for the children to possess a dog, but secretly Terry and Susan adopt Rufus whom they find caught in a trap, and in the end, after nearly losing his life, their grandfather becomes a changed man, and is happy to have not only his grandchildren, but even Rufus, and, of course, Hoppity, Terry's friend from Australia, round about him.' (Inside dust jacket)