Though the story is set in Borneo, a district author knows, and based on fact- the pirate raids of English ships a century ago- it is disappointingly stilted and stagy as it recounts an English boy's months of life in a village. After plunder by Pootoos, a pirate in search of East India Company gold, young Steven is separated from ship and family, taken in and finally adopted by Dyaks who live near the shore. Bucking fear and animosity, Steven wins their respect and love and they come to look upon him as a kind of wonder worker. When Pootoos returns and captures Steven, a last minute rescue is made possible by the Dyaks, who burn their precious longhouse to attract a passing ship. The story is awkwardly told, dependent on breast beating and heavy breathing for its drama rather than on actual events.