From novels for teen agers (see Marty, Jill's Victory etc.) Elisa Bialk turns to fictionalized history for a story based on the life of John Colter, the mountain man whose travelings in the West started with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Quiet and unassuming, Colter applied for a job and was hired by Lewis and Clark to go West with them. En route Colter found the horse Blaze that was to be his despite frequent losses and partings, and he met his boon companion, Running Deer, a Crow Indian boy who had been taken captive in a skirmish with the Shoshones. In large part the narrative follows the adventures of these three- as Colter leaves the expedition to start trapping and exploring on his own and as Running Deer leads him to Yellowstone to be the first white man to enter a territory the Indians held sacred. Adequate Americana, but the average writing job will not hold flagging interests.