Of the North Carolina backwoods strongholds, this concentrates on Jackson Mahaffey who ""aint never been denied what he set his heart on"", who has a full measure of iron in his system and ""was mostly devil when crossed"" and who is a hardshelled case when love trips him up. He is roused from his indolent life of cockfighting, drinking, wenching and fighting to win Molly who is not tolerant of these pastimes. How he steals a superb cook, gets a good mule by trickery, builds a mill lead up to a bad break with Molly when the mill opens. Even when he is safely married to her it is religion that proves another stumbling block and when he pleases her about it he nearly loses his favorite companions. When he determines to enter politics his campaign is ruthless and winds up not only in victory but also in paternity. A rowdy, roughhouse first person story, this Houghton Mifflin Fellowship Award is assured of a masculine audience with its quota of belly laughs and regional authenticity.