Willison's name was established in the field of unique scholarship by his earlier Saints and Strangers. In this he has chosen a more generally popular subject, and handled it with the same enormous capacity for sharing a profound knowledge of personalities, anccedate, incident, mood, trends that enriches a background previously rather sparsely comprehended. This is the story of the second great gold rush- the I'ike's Peak Gold Rush of 1859, and of the myriads that descended upon the scattered hamlets and mining camps of Colorado's first boom towns- of how failure stalked the paths of mart of these ""Argonauts"", and of the spectacular few who made vast fortunes. Specifically, it is Taber's story- his erratic rise and fall and rise again- and this thread, and a few less holding, tie the incidents together. Much of it is warm retelling of frantier history. Some of it is marred by odd use of present tense.