The illegitimate son of a white father who had been a major in the Revolutionary War and of his Negro slave, Jim Beckworth showed in boyhood the rebellious traits which in maturity became anti-social savagery. Hardly heroic, Beckworth took advantage of a practical joke to claim Crow ancestry. Captured then by Crows, he assumed the place of the Crow Chief's son. Jim was agent for the American Fur Company, took several wives and after a dozen years with the Crows returned to Saint Louis. After itinerant years dealing with other Indians he returned to the Crow tribe and one of his Indian wives. His participation in raids on other tribes make him seem amoral and somewhat inhuman. Characterization is excellent, the literary quality is uniformly good. But one questions the reasons for directing his biography to a juvenile audience.