International and individual conflict set the scene for Edward Booth's story during World War II when his service with the Merchant Marine takes him from the midwest to Russia, aboard the S. S. Evening Star as Chief Radio Officer. There is trouble from the start when old Captain Egbert has to follow convoy orders; when the new First Mate's boasting and cowardice have to be reamed out; and when Booth incurs the Captain's dislike. The Atlantic crossing loses them many ships; from Scotland they are sent to Murmansk, with even heavier losses and there they are ""lost"" for six months, during which Booth falls in love with Tanya, older, married and deeply Soviet indoctrinated, and the other Americans penetrate the Russian unfriendliness. The Evening Star is ordered out before Booth learns of Tanya's pregnancy, another voyage returns him briefly to her to learn her determination not to return to her old life for the sake of the baby- and there is hope, when he finally hears from her, en route to Switzerland, that they will be together when the war ends. Transformation under strange conditions of outward stress and inimical patterns of thinking mark another of Mirvish's ship-shore blue-prints.