Set during Philip's reign in Spain, this is the story of the Dutch counter effort to establish a route to the Indies, independent of Spanish and Portuguese franchise. The hero, Pieter, a young Netherlander, sets off on his uncle's flute ship--a ship which travels fast and has great storage capacity. His first mission is to rescue a Dutch merchant being held by the Inquisition who is well informed on trade route details. His second mission is to undertake the journey to the Indies as another ship sets off in the effort to establish a Netherlands' route. Adventure, history, and vivid detail concerning the character and atmosphere of Portugal and Holland recommend this as a substantial contribution to the teen age historical library.