So that his parents may not know what he is writing, Lucio Maniscalco, a young Venetian gondolier, composes his life story in English. It is in part the story of Lucio's devotion to his brother Silvestre and his sacrifice to aid Silvestre in seeking vengeance on the family that killed their grandfather. Mixed with this plot is the story of Lucio's love for Carol, an American girl, and his plans to use her good offices to get him to America. As we learn from Carol's notes appended to Lucio's story he was apprehended by the police and given a two year sentence for being an accomplice to a murder. Carol plans to wait for him. The rather peculiar English of this first person narrative while adding to the authenticity becomes monotonous. Also the story does not seem believable, although one suspects it is based on fact. The incidentals relating the lives of gondoliers are interesting, but the book as a whole is not.