On the eve of the Nazi invasion of Poland, Janek Grabski and his father, a Polish patriot, leave their home and flee to South Africa. There the fifteen-year-old boy develops a deep friendship with an African boy, Yago. Together they hunt and explore the rich lands of Kotokro, a territory which is controlled by Marlow, a benevolent but forceful white man who is torn between gratitude and contempt for an unscrupulous slave-trader to whom he owes his life. Marlow gives the trader a chance to escape but he dies, nonetheless, in the jungle. Years later Janek returns to Africa and is reunited with Yago, who, now that Marlow is growing old, has assumed the position of ""Big White Man of Kotokro."" Rene Guillot, whose books for younger readers have established him as an outstanding writer both here and in France, loses some of his charm when writing for this older age group.