An historical novel that takes the pulse of international- and national affairs- and combines with them a plausible love story. Climaxed in the Russian naval demonstration in New York and San Francisco in 1863, this portrays a Yankee trader who might have been the unknown negotiator responsible for it. Matthew Steel, rising from a life of poverty, dreams of his own ships, drives to achieve his ambition. Through the help of Russian friends, he outsmarts Thaddeus Blake in obtaining the ship he wants. Loyalty Blake, recognizing Matthew as the man she wants, in spite of her father's opposition, lives up to her name in the years she waits for him. Singer Tessa Dunne, childhood companion, also wants him, trains for a career to be worthy of him. But Matthew, only intent on sailing the seas, improving his reputation, does not enjoy his romance- with Loyalty- until after a secret mission to Russia, his participation in the Civil War, the saving of the Union... Sturdy tale.