Exhaustive researching, among friends and neighbors, scrapbooks and newspapers, offers some new material and new approaches to a national figure and, while confirming much that has been written before, gives a new lighting to a well-remembered face. The family background, the boy's youthful anti-work attitude and itching foot, the trip that led him to England, South America and South Africa -- and also to his career, after his experiences in a wild west show, all had their part in his decision to go into show business. His happy marriage to Betty Blake did not presage his settling down for his act hadn't caught on with the public and there were changes to be made until his solo, with lariat and gum, made its mark. The Follies, the building up of the act, learning the tricks of showmanship, working in news events and famous names, led to his writing, lecturing, to polo and moving pictures, to planes -- and his death. A story that dwells on his energy, his generosity and, in later years, his sensitivity to criticism and to age, that regards him as a man rather than a mountebank, this is a friendly, warming tribute for an audience that wishes to be further informed.