Half boyden, half enchantress, seventeen-year-old Belle McGlory, tired of her pickpocket's life in New York, becomes a stowaway on a boat bound for California and its treasures of gold. Darling of the ship, Belle becomes the mistress-protege of Lucius Talent, a man as deft with the ladies as he is with the fatal Jack. But despite her facility with the deck. Belle dreams of a tidy life, dominated by a raven-haired hero who materializes, alas, after she has relinquished her virginity to Lucius. The proper hero, Jim Rideout, a crusading Boston newspaper man, is immediately overcome by Belle, who lives in mortal fear that he will detect her attachment to Lucius. Lucius, who needs Belle, both as a partner and a bed companion, blackmails Belle into remaining with him as hostess of his thriving casino in Panama, but love triumphs, and a chastened Belle joins her vallant Bostonian on a challenging journey to San Francisco. Despite the familiar nature of the characters and the transparency of plot, Belle McGlory is a likeable enough young heroine who will appeal to those readers who look for the same qualities in the novel as they do in the light historical film. By the author of Marry in Anger.