On a summer afternoon in fifteen seventy-five, a tall, fair-haired boy of fifteen lingers along Bideford Quay on his way home from school, drawn by the lure of the sea and ships and sailors...
Amyas Leigh; Frank Leigh; Captain John Oxenham; Carlotta Oxenham [Ayacanora]; Rose Salterne; Rose's suitors; Sir Richard Grenville; Salvation Yeo; Will Cary; Don Guzman Maria Magdalena Sotomayor de Soto
Amyas longs to go to sea, and also longs to marry Rose, as do many others. Amyas is successful as a swashbuckler, and captures a Spanish officer who is paroled in Amyas's town to await ransom. He woos Rose, who agrees to accompany him back to Spain. Amyas pursues to the West Indies only to find that Rose is happy, but he rescues the daughter of an old friend who had been murdered by the Spanish Inquisition. When the Inquisition murders Rose he hunts Guzman to death in the Battle of the Spanish Armada. Amyas loses his sight but gains the hand of Carlotta.