The Judas story carries out the title of this tale of friendship and adventure for, to school teacher David Fraser, Colonel Drexel has been a hero in legend as well as fact. When Drexel asks Fraser to take time out to tutor an unknown boy, he agrees, settles into the villa in France, near the Spanish border, and runs into an odd trio while waiting for his charge. Sophie wins his heart, and belief; Sarrasin and Paviot arouse his doubts; the 16 year old youth turns out to be Jabal, son of an assassinated king of an independent Arab state, kidnaped to prevent the regent from turning him against renewing a British oil concession. Fraser unwittingly betrays Drexel's trust; Jabal is kidnaped, then Fraser and, held prisoner in an empty chateau, Fraser learns that it is his idol, Drexel, who is the motivating force behind the plotting. An escape, capture again by Paviot and Sarrasin at their little circus, and the chase to release Jabal, end in a certain dignity for Drexel' and in heart's ease for Fraser. High marks for color and conscience in international intrigue.