How a boy's hatred of his Tory father's domination drives him to friendship with the , smugglers and underground fighters for the freedom of the American colonies. Caught by a press gang, Roger serves three years in the British navy which adds to his hatred, he escapes and returns to his native Long Island to play the part of a Tory while actually serving as a spy for the American forces. The death of Hale does not faze him -- but he is influenced by dread of the brand of coward. He nerves his country well, is eventually jailed and kept on a prison ship, but his beloved Jane, now aware of what he has been doing, aids him and his cause, and eventually they are reunited and he brings her to his old home as its mistress. A host of historical personages strengthen the sense of period and authentic background.