History, adventure, and the refutation of an old family curse combine in this typically moody Ellis Dillon story set on the Irish coast. On a stormy night in 1920, Pat Conneeley sets out from the islands to rescue his uncle Roddy, a patriot wanted by the Black and Tans and stranded on the County Clare mainland. Convinced of his own safety because of a family tradition of a part-seal ancestry, he has no qualms about sailing in such dangerous weather, and friend Mike is game, but it is Pat who suggests that Jerry Lynskey must join them if ever the ""informer"" taint is to be erased from the Lynskey name. And Grandfather is a feisty type who jumps at their plan; his knowledge of the coast is useless until a line of seals appears just long enough to give them the right direction. After that it's a fast-moving and quite resourceful contact with a sympathetic ""aunt"" who delays the soldiers while the boys, especially Jerry, manage a recovery of Roddy and return to the island. The various points of view are notably integrated into the narrative and the boys have enough courage, conviction and expediency to carry it off.