1700 and the ill-fated attempt of the Scots to settle New Caledonia are background for atmospheric adventure by a writer who is a Scot himself. Sixteen year old Ewen Laird Laikie goes with his uncle James Forqhuor on an expedition of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, to the Caribbean. There, at tropical, teeming New Caledonia, Ewen makes friends with an Indian boy Ibico, but after attempted settlement, is sed witness to the Spanish siege and capture of their land. The Scots are allowed to leave on the Comet, but it sinks. Ewen and Ibico escape and head for a new life of trading on St. Christopher Island.