1816 brings Tolamy, a recently brevetted captain under Monroe's orders, to Honoruru to report on the British attempts to annex the Sandwich Islands, and to deliver arms to the trader, Partridge, who is rousing the natives. Once there he learns that the danger lies in Russia's determination to take possession and finds out how her agent, Dr. Scheffer, has humbugged him. He escapes Scheffer once, is caught and imprisoned, meets Partridge and through him learns more of the plot. He digs his way to freedom, acts as interpreter for Tamehameha, the last of the giants and wary of Russian aims, and sees the threat of foreign domination blocked. A vigorous adventure -- by land and sea --of old Hawaii, this underscores current events while making Island history and people come alive.