This is an improbable and contrived yarn which acts Michel, a fifteen year old French orphan, off in search of a mysterious uncle. About to embark as a stow-away he meets his own double, a boy named Claude. Michel stows away on the Jeanne Marie, is discovered, then signs on as a hand. A telegram reaches the captain of the ship who mistakenly believes Michel is Claude, whose family is searching for him. En route, Michel hears marvelous stories of his uncle, his riches, his success, his wisdom. Michel ends up as a neophyte worker in the timber empire of one Fabregasse a timber monarch -- who turns out, in the final chapter, to be the long sought uncle, using an assumed name. Reader interest debarks soon after leaving port.