Clever, colonial Captain Mainwaring (Admiral of Fear, 1991, etc.) sails again for H.M. George II, tackling the fiendish French in the distant, warm waters of the Indian Ocean. After rounding the Cape of Good Hope and reaching a designated latitude, young Yankee skipper Ned Mainwaring opens the admiralty's secret orders and learns that he and his ship Pallas are to sail around the island of Mauritius to interpose themselves between the marauding French navy and the fledgling British outposts in India. The treacherous Frogs seek to dominate the Indian trade, and if they succeed, His Majesty's Empire will die aborning. Before reaching Mauritius, Pallas tangles with a French man-of-war that strikes its colors suspiciously early. The victorious Mainwaring boards the beaten ship to check it out and is promptly kidnaped, joining Lady Caroline Grenville, the pretty sister of an earl whose ship had been taken by the French. Dumped, whipped, and jailed on Mauritius, Ned must be rescued by his officers--but while the rescue is taking place, Pallas is sunk and her crew murdered by Ned's archenemy, the sadistic Chevalier Rigaud de la Roche-Bourbon, who now holds (and has cruel designs upon) virtuous Lady Caroline. With no ship of his own, Captain Mainwaring has to scrounge the waters for a wee borrowed flotilla. The odds are terribly against him, but there is help from the weather. And Ned's ladylove, Anne Brixham, is on the way to give her sweetheart all possible aid. Brisk, shipshape naval adventure.