Well ... it is active. But it does seem familiar. Many of the details have been changed but the various outcroppings of plot are as recognizable as the stand of rock that Matt Dillon keeps galloping past on every installment of Gunsmoke. Clay Fraser is 15 years old in 1758 and his father, indentured for debt to one man, is traded to another who travels. Clay pursues, but one thing after the other gets in the way of family reunion. Lt. Guy McIntosh of the Royal Americans takes Clay on as a drummer boy, which leads to a conflict over the Lt.'s horse with an Indian boy named Keowee who later becomes Clay's best friend. The French and Indian skirmishes are forever holding things up and it's a series of battle scenes and conversations of British interests in North America with intrepid boys in the thick of it all. The Frasers' last links with Mother Scotland are two stocking dirks and this inevitable ingredient is more distinguished for its national origin than its existence in the story. The presence of dialect -- early Pennsylvania frontier, Scotch, Swiss and Injun -- is a burden. But ... it is active and historical in the Zane Crey-ish vein.