Hutchens had lived thirty years in the East and become a big-time magazine writer before he went back to check up on the place of his childhood and youth, Montana. His journalist's facile memory bubbled, churned, and produced this book about the old days when Montana was ""somewhere between the old frontier and modern life as other States knew it."" Before his teens he had delivered newspapers to the red light district as well as the social part of town, and listened by the hour to the Civil War veterans reminisce. Baseball, boxing, politics were the prime interests of the era, the Hupmobile and the railroad the ideal form of transportation. He grew up in the great tradition of American newspapering, under the guidance of his father, Martin Hutchens, editor of the Missoulian-Sentinel, and tells with relish of hoaxing both the local police chief and the Missoulian's only competitor by ""planting"" a probable murder. A real murder in the locality culminated one day in an execution by hanging, but though the witnesses hoped they would get to re-live some of the excitement of the years before legalism had prevailed, they were doomed to disappointment: the event was only sad; ""the Old West...had not come back, and it never would.