Like many an enterprising lad in the nineteenth-century world, Robbie Taggart left the quiet Scottish Highlands to seek his fortune and adventure on the high seas. When his love for Jamie MacLeod is refused, Robbie takes an excellent position in the naval commission. But the constrictions of military discipline soon become more than his high-spirited nature can tolerate and he resigns, taking a first mate’s position on a freighter bound for trade in China.

Never one to be daunted by adversity, Robbie now comes up against forces of evil and dark undercurrents that threaten to destroy him. Will his invincible attitude toward life finally be his undoing?