Robert Entrick is the latest in a long line of sheltered English lads who have found their manhood in the wilderness of colonial America. Kidnapped while cantering home from school, Robert is tossed into the hold of a ship with indentured servants bound for the New World. He makes friends with a boy his own age who dies, and with two older shipmates, who disappear upon their arrival in New York. Lonely and emaciated from illness, he is relieved when a surly farmer buys his services at the dockside auction. During the next year he has an extraordinary series of adventures: he clears new land with his master, lives alone in the forest after his master's death, joins an Indian tribe, and, with his new knowledge, rallies soldiers and settlers in repelling an Indian raid. He has become a leader among men. He has also learned, along the way, that his uncle paid to have him kidnapped, and he returns to England, somewhat reluctantly, to claim his inheritance. Robert's transformation is too abrupt and complete to be convincing, but skillful writing, abundant background detail and fast-moving events will carry the interested reader along.