In the forest near Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania, a boy and his dog heroically save the life of an anti-Communist fighter
Thirteen year-old Bobby spends his summer vacation with his grandparents in a small Carpathian Mountain village. One day, while he is in the forest looking for plants for a herbarium, he comes upon a wounded partisan, a freedom fighter hiding from Communist troops who are searching for him.
Soldiers have taken over the village and some are living in Bobby’s grandparents’ house. The punishment for protecting a partisan is severe, but this partisan reminds Bobby of his father, who died in the war fighting the Soviet invaders of Romania. With the help of his dog Volf and his horse Albu, Bobby has repeated narrow escapes as he outwits the government soldiers and saves the life of the partisan. Along the way he learns history that is not taught in the Communist-run schools—including that Prince Vlad Dracula was not a vampire, but a Romanian hero who, like the partisans, wanted to punish and expel invaders from the land.
This story is based on the real-life adventures of the author and other boys in 1952 who wanted to help freedom fighters and who dreamed of being heroes.