The two Westcott and three younger Lester children of The Hiding Place find themselves entangled in a fresh adventure when their parents leave them for a holiday at the lodge of Tinker's Castle, a Roman fortification. 13 year old Norman and Julia become friendly with Philip Ridley, the heir to the neighboring estate, who is under the temporary care of his jealous uncle. The three accidentally find the missing family talisman, a valuable Herculaneum goblet. Uncle Patrick is all set to sell the goblet, even going so far as to torture and threaten the murder of Philip in the attempt. Such a completely farfetched situation calls for a logical surprise ending. On the contrary, the brief denouement, which has been carelessly tacked on at the end, is totally unsatisfactory. The goblet ends up smashed and debunked (although possibly till valuable). Uncle Patrick also gets a little battered, but he is still in charge of his nephew, and his extraordinary behavior is never satisfactorily accounted for. That starts out as a promising adventure turns into an unlikely escapade.