This classic adventure novel by the author of Greenmantle and The Thirty-Nine Steps relates the first-person exploits of young David Crawfurd before the age of twenty. As a boy growing up on the coast of Scotland, minister's son Davie and two friends were pursued with murderous intent along the cliffs one night by John Laputa, a visiting black African preacher, whom they had witnessed performing un-Christian rites round a campfire on the beach. A few years later, when his father's death forces Davie to quit college and join the tribe of wandering Scots, our hero finds himself in South Africa, assistant shopkeeper in a seemingly sleepy back-veldt store. There he re-encounters Laputa, now charismatic leader of an incipient native uprising, secretly preaching the incendiary creed of "Africa for the Africans," and proclaiming himself heir to the mantle of Prester John, a legendary 15th-century Christian king of Ethiopia.Can young Davie possibly penetrate the megalomaniac's mountain stronghold, foil the insurrection, prevent a massacre of white settlers, and make off with the rebels' war-chest of gold and diamonds? It's going to take some doing - and not a little derring-do!