This first attempt to establish a fur trading post on the Columbia, 1910-12, forms the background for this story of Mark Denny, a young doctor who is persuaded by Astor to go on the expedition, and who accepts as an escape from his thwarted love for India de Chambord. India has married the leader of the secret British expedition designed to destroy Astor's plans, and mishaps to both vessels result in the lovers meeting again in Hawaii, where India bears her child. The story falls into two parts -- Manhattan in 1810, with the ambitious Madam Jumel climbing the social ladder, and the DePeysters angling for monied connections to supplement a falling income, and the Astors a negligible factor in the social scheme, a growing power in the business world. Then comes the frightful voyage under Captain Thorn, who outdoes Captain Bligh in cruelty and inhumanity -- and gets his return in kind, first in the Islands, then in the North-west when the Indians revenge his insult to their chief. The brief, inglorious attempt costs the lives of all. Sperry is best known for his adventure stories of the Pacific area, boys books with a successful record. This is , I believe, his first adult novel, but bears no imprint of expanded juvenalis. Substantial historical fiction.