When a fleet of British warships bottled up the Delaware Bay during the War of 1812, Captain Ezra Hand and his son Will were forced to give up the packet run from Cape May, New Jersey, to Philadelphia. Instead, they fitted up their sloop, Fair Molly, as a privateer and began to slip through the blockade to raid enemy shipping, with highly successful results.
Will found he privateer's life an exciting one, especially when they were joined by an old seafaring friend of his father's on secret business for the Navy Department. But it soon became clear that someone on shore was betraying their movements to the enemy blockaders. Will was pretty sure he knew who it was, but he needed proof, and while he was looking for it, he fell into enemy hands. His desperate escape climaxes an exciting story of adventure, which, with its colorful depiction of the lives of the farmer-sailors who comprised America's first line of defense, will hold readers absorbed to the last page.