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Kate Quarm is a bright and sensitive girl. She lives with her aunt and uncle at Coombe Cellers, a farmhouse, eating house and store occupying a promontory in the estuary of the Teign, in the south of Devon. Kate's father is a dreamer, always off on the next get-rich-quick scheme, wandering across the countryside with his donkey cart. It seems that no one has the time or the inclination to try to understand Kitty and she is left very much "alone." But when she ferries the son of the richest farmer in the neighborhood across the Teign and he falls head over heals for the pretty girl, it seems that the fortunes of Kitty Alone are about to change. Or maybe not - for Rose Ash has marked John out as her own and is keen on defending her claim while Kitty's thoughts center more on the stars and the tides (and the new schoolmaster) than on the ardent boy next door. The Rev'd Sabine Bearing Gould was a keen observer of people who filled his books with a broad cast of characters, humorously drawn from the 19th Century English countryside.