A lowering German historical novel, intriguing for an American Revolution readership since the bulk of the story concerns the class inequities, political skulduggery and society of Hesse-Kabal before the Hessian troops were exported as mercenaries for the British. This is essentially the tale of two half-brothers one of whom is Claus, authoritarian, rigid, convinced that his mother Anne loved his brother Robert best. Which she did, not only because Robert was generous, kind and democratic, but he so resembled her first husband, Skelnik, presumed dead. Robert's overt sympathies with the peasants bring on impressment in the Hessian army, and Claus, the officer who had betrayed his brother, and Anne, now a widow, board for America. In the American adventure it's touch and go whether Robert and Anne will link up with Skelnik, of late an American patriot. A winter's ferrying across the Delaware, just previous to Washington's crossing, results in death to one, deliverance to the other. Old contrivances with a fresh bias.