It is the point of view of a nine-year-old slave gift that differentiates this otherwise unremarkable adventure set in Revolutionary Charleston. Orphaned as an infant, Annie is separated from her brother Jack when the British, who have taken over the city, capture all the black males and herd them onto a slave ship. Annie herself is assigned to clean the barracks where British soldiers guard a huge ammunition store, and because of her access to the gunpowder she is chosen by her liberal master, a craftsman and patriot, to blow up the supply. Annie succeeds but derives little satisfaction from her feat and the story ends honestly with Annie crying for Jack, who is reported to have died at sea. Annie's near indifference to the patriots' cause, her ambivalence about completing the mission, and the shaded conception of her master (who is kind to Annie but willing to use her for his plan) add further credibility for those who will bear with the oddly unanimated narration.