If Alexander had sent an elephant to Aristotle this is what MIGHT have happened -- and Leon, son of Aristos of Atrax in Thessalia, after 7 years of service in the conqueror's armies, tells the story. After the defeat of King Poros in India, Leon is given permission to return home to Greece with the commission of transporting the elephant, Mahankal (renamed Alas), as a present for Alexander's tutor, Aristoteles, and 50 talents of silver for Aristoteles' rival, Xenokrates. Leon, on his independent command, is faced with the problems of feeding the monster and keeping him alive; is bound to his master's orders to keep the peace as he travels and to deliver his two charges unharmed. There are assaults and dangers when they try to find the route best suited to the beast. There is betrayal and treachery, fighting and hazardous traveling in unknown lands. There is an awakening awareness of friendship with aliens, and a romance for Leon. And, after many misadventures, there is the successful arrival in Athens with both philosophers taken by surprise with their gifts. Plenty of historical adventuring in personal terms, this makes its recreation original, lively and likable.