This is on the whole a better book than The Horn and the Forest (1963) combining some of the same materials-- realism with a savage, ritualistic knowledge of the Indians three centuries ago. Some of this story takes place in New Mexico, recording the effect of Catholicism in the Far West. Three brothers, Matyeh, Patche and Shonti escape a pogrom in their Pyrenees home village and come to this country via France and Spain. It is the 1680's and the two older brothers become voyageurs in the Northwest, while the younger one becomes a missionary. In the parallel plot lines, the brothers are separated and while pursuing their vocations, search for each other in the wilderness. Their lives are intensely bound up with many Indian tribes of which the Iroquois are the most bloodthirsty. The story drifts- somewhat foggily- through the seasons covering some sixteen years and is perhaps the weakest part of the book here, as it was in the earlier novel. But Miss Cooper writes about Indians as if she'd been one (she has done considerable research) and her depiction of the wilderness, streams, beasts and the elements is well above average.