Saga novel of America at the close of the French-English wars, opening up of trade on the Mississippi, Indians, and good and bad people in monotone. The story centers around a spirited New Orleans boy of no background, his closest friend, a French aristocrat, and the Frenchman's sister, whom he loves. A ruthless powerful man is determined to force Eugenie to marry his son, and the book tells of the escape of the trio up river. There are hardships, dangers among the Indians, but eventually they reach Illinois and freedom from the threat. Authentic, but rather stereotyped.