This is the story of a trip Patterson made in 1948 through the Cassiar district of British Columbia, a wilderness area with a history that is largely ignored by Canadians. Patterson believes that his is the first book ever to round up that area's lore, which he presents against the pattern of his own trip. U.S. readers may find too much petty detail included between the slabs of nature-writing and tales of wolves, caribou and goldhunters. When Patterson has an animal in his literary sights, everything comes to life. His stories about settlers and oldtimers and Indians are brisk, pricking and dexterous. He has a naturalist's concern for the picayune and does not wholly break loose and narrate until he is finally on his own; a man against the elements. Patterson has gone to great trouble to arrive at this far outpost from which he intends to jump off solo. He is hardly underway before his whole adventure starts slipping disastrously away under his feet, for he is struck down with flu, the weather turns bad and misery grips him. His caribou hunt becomes ludicrous but is saved by the sight of some magnificent animals. Readers will like Patterson personally for his salt-of-the-earth male virtues.