The Okefinokee Swamp in Georgia is as much a protagonist as a background in this handsome book. Clint Sheppard, whose only friend is a seven-foot Seminole Indian, lives the solitary life of the big swamp with a lazy step father and a near defeated mother. A fortunate botanical find introduces him to a genial botanist-druggist -- and with his help, Clint overcomes every obstacle to becoming a presentable gentleman, with city speech. An education is his goal, and he crams knowledge galore as a substitute, and as the story ends is on his way to a fine career. Richness of background nature detail will interest some readers-and bore others. This just misses being a grand tale because Clint is just a wee bit too much the perfect gentle knight for credibility. Regional values.