The personal history of Bryan Herbert Dempster makes a story of danger and hardihood -- and sometimes foolhardiness as he follows his star and his determination to earn his living by hunting crocodiles in South Africa. With the memory of his first kill at eight, school and the war pointed up his belief that he was not for the ordinary life and, although his first shoot was no success, he finally did evolve a method of killing that brought results. From a moving boat at night, with his rifle at close range and a lamp strapped to his head, he and his black brother, Joseph, bagged their prey. But marriage to Peggy persuaded him to try tobacco farming in northern Rhodesia and failure there sent him back to the life where he was complete master and the profession in which he had no rival. A try in Portuguese East Africa and trouble with the authorities sent him running-to England where he tried to raise money for a crocodile farm, to Earl, who heard his story -- and to current oblivion. Storms, danger, excitement and an unsettled, frustrated life make this something of a companion to Venture by Gavin Maxwell (Viking, 1952) and head it for a masculine audience.