Picaresque adventure in full regalia with its background the privateers of our infant nation during the American Revolution. Young Fitzhugh Lyon, a poor and embittered relation of a rich Virginia family, is going through Baltimore to join the army when he is by accident shanghaied aboard the Retaliation, an intrepid ship without guns, captained by one Crofts. The mistake has been made by Lieutenant Ninnes, and Crofts, finding it out too late, gives Fitz an officer's berth and a chance, as the battle of men and ships plays itself out. After several successful raids, they are captured and put in Plymouth's Old Mill prison. An ingenious escape is plotted and executed, and Fitz' sojourn in England brings the further satisfaction of a successful outcome to a duel fought with one of his English relatives, before he escapes to France. He finds Captain Crofts again, and a softened and repentant Ninnes and a new ship readying for further adventure. Another good yarn from the author of Star Rangers and At Swords' Points.