The discovery of an abandoned Spanish merchant ship off the coast of America plunges Harry Ludlow into the midst of a far reaching conspiracy fuelled by jealousy, personal ambition and nationalistic fervour.
The Spanish are suspicious of Harry's part in the affair and the Bucephalas is escorted to New Orleans and left under the gaping muzzles of the 32-pounders of the harbour fort while the
whereabouts of the ship's cargo is investigated. The Spanish are not interested in the bales of cotton and barrels of sugar left aboard the deserted ship. Something far more valuable is missing and Harry is in dreadful danger as a result.
But it quickly becomes clear that the rooms and corridors of the governor's residence are quite as busy with treachery and murder as the back streets and alleyways of New Orleans. As Spain's distant American outpost struggles to come to terms with the realities of a new world. Harry is ensnared in a maze of double dealing and intrigue.