Another eminently readable, vigorous picaresque yarn, with a modicum of historical flavoring -- the period when the young nation was dabbling on the fringe of war with Napoleon's navy in the Caribbean, and when piracy paid dividends into yawning coffers. The story follows a familiar pattern: a spoiled only son leaves his father's prosperous farm for other fields, in this case a cousin's shipping interests in Philadelphia. He falls- en route- for the wiles of a French damsel-in-distress, who is no better than she should be and takes him for the innocent he is. To be sure she later tricks his estimable Quaker relatives- and wins the marriage lines with the dour eldest son only to be shown up for what she is by our hero's French friend, but lately a prisoner of war. In between, quick temper necessitates escape- first in one of his cousin's ships, later as a Marine on the Constellation, where he wins spurs and manhood in the baptism of fire. Easy reading- and no strain on the grey matter.