A worn retread of the formula historical novel which concerns darkly handsome, wealthy Nick Valmy, an American of French ancestry, and his attempt to retrieve his father's sailing vessels from the French who had confiscated them. Nick first comes to Baltimore to consult his father's old friend, Patterson, who quite shamelessly uses his sixteen year old daughter as bait to lead Nick on. Before the tiresome tale is over, Nick finds himself chasing the ships all the way to Cap Haitien where he nobly intervenes as an American spy and helps thwart a French attempt to invade Louisiana. And he gives his heart to a young French widow- widowed by his sword.... The tide of empire- but a low watermark, and for libraries- a safe detour.