A tangy, folksy biography of the ""saintly, bright-eyed scarecrow"" with a fresh presentation. The first section is concerned with the early life and mission of the American John the Baptist set against the wars, growth and migrations of the American scene. Using in general bits and scraps of reminiscences and tales from all over the middle-Western and Western territory where the gaunt Swedenborgia traveled, the author has caught, not only the spirit of the man, but in the second section, a spirit of a people who helped to create a legend. There are imaginary glimpses of Johnny as he talked, ate and worked with pioneers, bringing a love of people, and the great wilderness with the hope for a future of striving and fulfillment in a beautiful and fertile land. The author quotes contemporary comments and documents for authenticity, but she is primarily concerned with legend and its source. A full-bodied, readable bit of Americana.