The author of the popular Dulcimer Street has taken an exciting bypath through the adventures of Ralph Rudd, 13, who runs away from home, is committed to the Nero and some wicked companions, and learns his ship is a blackbirder of foul repute. The friendship of a missionary, and the pursuit of the British navy end the Nero's slave trading but put Ralph in danger of his life. At his trial a last minute coincidence saves him. Period style for action and suspense in traditional storytelling. The Dulcimer Street following should be warned this is in wholly different vein.