Abject racism aside, this a fun, action-packed (by 19th century standards) read. The Pathfinder is the American action hero prototype--amazingly skilled at everything he does, an innate sense of right and wrong, smart without any fancy book learning. There's treachery and deceit, romance, scalping, boat adventures, even a shooting skills contest. The Indians here are pure evil, savage and ruthless (except for the good ones.) They're basically orcs. When The Coop wants to be he is an amazing writer, there are some fantastic descriptions of the Great Lakes and even the dialogue, though always long winded, can be really fun and clever. Compared to someone like Melville (who would come along a few years later) The Coop is just a genre hack, but he is a very skilled one. Next up for me, The Deer Slayer.