Unusual type of pioneer story -- the modern proletarian microscope applied to those ""heroes"" of our expansion, with the result that they emerge as lusty, back biting, somewhat sordid, but bitten by the urge to seek the unknown, to court adventure. The scene shifts westward from the North Carolina mountains to Kentucky and Ohio. Sex urge rampant and women nothing loath to make up for the deficiencies in number. It's not altogether pleasant reading, but it strikes a new and fresh and vigorous note. The period is that of the Indian wars, round and about the War of Independence.