Lieutenant John Pierce has managed to hold on to his freedom - but only just.
Having been caught on smuggling charges, he escaped incarceration when two of his Pelicans 'volunteered' for service in his Majesty's Navy; now, Pierce is determined to get them back. Aided by fellow Pelican Michael O'Hagan, Pierce heads to Dover to attempt a rescue, but not everything goes quite as planned. A gang of thugs who want revenge on Pierce for stealing their goods wants revenge. Having fled to London, Pierce and O'Hagan discover that their friends have already shipped out, under the command of the Lieutenant's old adversary, Ralph Barclay. Convinced that his old nemesis would never willingly let his two friends go Pearce and O'Hagan fear that all hope is lost - until the offer from First Minister Pitt himself seems to turn their luck around. The chance of a ship and crew might be just what Pierce needs to escape his pursuers, rescue the Pelicans and earn himself a small fortune...so long as his past doesn't catch up with him first.