The scene is Quebec in 1845 and the chief characters are two brothers, Davy and Will Cameron. They are warned about ""crimps"" (shanghaiers of men and boys) for the timber boats. Near the end they are captured by them. However, they are rescued while still on shore. The intervening action provides a rambling look at Quebec life and customs in the mid-19th Century loosely held together by the Scotch/French family of Cameron.