Some half dozen or more novels of the early days of a young nation, sea-faring days, when the waters off the Atlantic coast were often still disputed, would seem to have conditioned John Jennings for a more finished novel than this, his latest. As a first- or young- tale of derring-do at sea, it would have indicated ""promise""- that much abused term- and been recommended for presenting this odd angle of the adventurers bound for the California gold fields. For here is the tale of the ""Argonettes"", a group of New York maidens innocently caught in the web of advertising for candidates to uphold woman's rights even in the gold fields. Actually, it was a scheme by which Mother Mag, discouraged with full off of business at home, planned to get her bevy of ""girls"" to San Francisco where ladies of the evening were scarce and business booming. The possibilities of the situation are tantalizing. Actually, John Jennings has made a very dull tale of it and shifted his focus to the young doctor, earning his way out, the skipper- bent on winning a race against his rival, and the skipper's young wife. The intent of the tale seems to shift with the compass, and the end result is disappointingly contrived and anticlimactic.