If Montana history is a river through time, then here are the nuggets panned from the flow. Author James A. Crutchfield has mined thirty-four of the most colorful episodes from Montana's provacative past--from the first glimpse by French explorers of the 'Shining Mountains' in 1743, to the recent attempt to round up the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains. Along the way, Crutchfield introduces a cast of fascinating characters who have made their mark on the Treasure State. Among them are outlaw/sheriff Henry Plummer, copper kings Marcus Daly and William Clark, mountain mand 'Liver-Eating' Johnston, cowboy artist Charlie Russell, peace-loving Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin and preceptive Plenty Coups, chief of the Crows. As the author himself acknowledges, 'these vignettes don't in any way purport to be a thorough history of the state.' Rather, they are the gold that glitters in the pan.