The hero is a Southerner, but at the same time a successful Wall Street financier, a leading figure in the society of the metropolis, a daring engineer, and a rather shrewd business man. The novel is long and complicated, but is masterfully handled and never dull.
"Strike that flag!"
Gordon could see his face now, for he was almost on him. It was round and sunburnt, and the eyes were blue and clear and flashing with excitement. His companion, who was cheering him on, was Ferdy Wickersham.
"Strike that flag, I say," called the oarsman.
"I won't. Who are you? Strike your own flag."
"I am Norman Wentworth. That's who I am, and if you don't take that flag down I will take it down for you, you little nigger-driving rebel."
Gordon Keith was not a boy to neglect the amenities of the occasion.
"Come and try it then, will you, you nigger-stealing Yankees!" he called. "I will fight both of you." And he settled himself for defence.
"Well, I will," cried his assailant. "Drop the tiller, Ferdy, and sit tight. I will fight fair." Then to Gordon again: "I have given you fair warning, and I will have that flag or sink you."
Gordon's answer was to drop one oar as useless, seize the other, and steadying him