A case of mixed loyalties develops in a tension fraught time and place- Boston in April, 1775- and is carried out in an expert narrative by Olivia Coolidge whose Egyptian Adventures and other books on myths and legends, though different from this, showed practised style. James Gilroy, 17 and apprenticed to Dr. Browne, whose sentiments are Tory, rashly decides to cut down the sign on the Cromwell's Head tavern, a patriot meeting place. The sign knocks down Joseph Warren and the incident reveals a letter implicating Browne. It also stirs a new feeling for the patriot cause in Jamey, who must nevertheless fight the fires from both sides for a while. Pinpointing atmosphere and little touches of character, the narrative is a crackling one as it pursues Jamey's adventures with Betty, Dr. Browne's daughter, with the remarkable little waterfront waif they befriend, and the solution for them all in the hotbed of revolutionary politics.