Keeping to her sturdy narrative style and her solid settings of time and place, Shannon Garst has reconstructed the experiences of a boy who was actually captured for three years by the Nootka Indians and lived to leave a diary about it. After deciding that he could not become a doctor, John Jewitt put out from Hull, England, as armourer aboard the Boston when he was 18, in about 1803. The adventure he longed for was his from the first days at sea, but it became a more stark reality on Vancouver Island. An incident between Maquina, the Nootka chief, and the Boston's captain provoked a bloody massacre from which John was able to save himself only by making rather ingenious use of the Indians' sympathies. Thor, his older friend, was on the point of being killed and when John designated him as his father; the Indians took pity and spared both John's and Thor's life. In the three years' captivity that followed, social and physical discomfort all but cancelled the profit from new experience, but John remained lively and broadminded enough to do a creditable Job of understanding the Indian ways.