England, France and Spain were temporarily at ""peace"" during the last decade of the seventeenth century when the hero of this grand manner adventure started out in quest of his birthright. Young Jack Besom, precariously raised in Houndsby, Somerset, by a gypsy ""grandmother"" with magical powers, tells his own story. And he makes a smooth and often breathtaking job of it too, for before readers have Jack settled as the son of a castaway nobleman, they go with him to London, share the perils of Newgate Prison and of life aboard a buccaneer ship captained by the man his Granny Besom's prophesies designated as the key to Jack's hidden past. Blood, thunder and Spanish pirate gold await Jack and his friend Richard at practically every wave top- as they round the Horn, head for the South Seas and finally the island where Jack's father, Sir Arthur Gifford had been marooned years before to satisfy an ignoble debtor. When the buccaneer ship sinks, Jack, Richard and Sir Arthur escape alone to England. Strong head winds.