“There was once a gentleman, a tall fellow with an air of superiority about him, who made it his business to come down to the marketplace in Portsmouth on the first Sunday of every month in order to replenish his library.”
14 year-old John Jacob Turnstile is about to be sent to prison when an offer is put to him – a ship has been refitted and is about to set sail with an important mission. The captain’s valet has been injured and a replacement must be found immediately. The deal is struck and he finds himself on board.
The ship is HMS Bounty, the captain is William Bligh, and their destination is Tahiti.