When young Mr. Peterson arrived in a surprisingly remote section of Idaho to spend some time with ""the last of the mountain men,"" Sylvan Hart, Mr. Hart let loose with a whoop an' holler that testified plainly to his enjoyment of life and people. Unlike the prototype of the isolated self-sufficient loner, Mr. Hart has a keen appreciation of people and their odd ways, and a good portion of the book is given over to some lively reminiscences of the gold rush days--booms, busts and bandits. Cultivated and charming, Sylvan Hart is also an accomplished hunter and farmer and an innovator in the ways of making one's own way in a wild and lovely setting. The author is obviously awash in admiration, and undoubtedly the escape-prone will be too. Pleasant reading for armchair pioneers who do not possess Mr. Hart's skills and a mountain siren call for those trussed up in the valley.