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From the quarter deck of an English steam frigate two bodies are sited, yoked together by a great stick, as they slid down the smooth side of a towering swell. The bodies are those of an old man and a woman, possibly jettisoned cargo from a suspected slave ship, dumped into the sea to avoid incrimination. Angered by the effrontery of the escaping ship still in view against the roiling waves, the captain of the English frigate takes chase, determined to bring to justice the man he believes is responsible for the outrage—Thomas Rutledge, the Yankee captain of a fast and elusive American clipper, the Flying Witch.
Thomas Rutledge is a veteran of the Confederate Navy who witnessed his home and family destroyed by a Reconstruction mob and became so embittered that he turned to the slave trade as a kind of revenge. When his friend, the powerful Arab trader, Binbin, tells him of the inland native empire of Buntoro with its stores of ivory ready for exploitation, he joins Binbin's venture. It is in Buntoro that Rutledge meets the missionary, Kitty, a spirited product of Abolitionist Boston, and learns how little he really knows of native civilization. After a gruesome murder, he finds himself in a riveting confrontation between the Buntoroians and the British. In an unparalleled battle scene, he and Kitty fight by the sides of the native warriors—gathered in their war canoes, spears ready— to face the British and their superior fire power.
Bold as a whiplash—searing and powerful —a masterful look at the complexities of good and evil—the reader is swept off into a tale of Africa and her wildest days. Daniel Mannix knew and loved Africa and immersed himself in its history and lore, and together with his wife, Jule Junker, led a life of ceaseless action.
In this, his first work of fiction, Daniel Mannix fuses these elements into a raw and seething experience, a tale of climax upon climax, a book which holds fast the reader bold enough to venture upon the sea chase as it crashes down the towering waves into the heart-stopping grip of an epic adventure.