It's the late nineteenth century in the South Pacific. Bully Hayes considers himself a pirate with morals and standards, and while he has never flown the skull and crossbones, he has dealt in illegal trade, albeit never having swindled or killed anyone who didn't deserve it. It is after one of those trading missions with a native tribe gone wrong that he is arrested "by an old friend" under Spanish law for attempting to sell arms to the enemy, a crime punishable by hanging. Awaiting his fate in a dank prison cell, he tells his lawyer how he came to this situation. What Bully specifically tells him is the last escapades aboard his former beloved ship, the Rona, the long voyage transporting New Englander Nathaniel Williamson and his British fiancée Sophie to their South Pacific mission where they were to be married before bringing the word of God to the natives. Earnest Nathaniel disliked him from the beginning due to the harmless or not so harmless flirtation between him and Sophie. Before Nathaniel and Sophie married, the mission was massacred, and by the time Nathaniel, one of the few survivors, regained consciousness, Sophie was gone, he believed at Bully's hands. Alone, Nathaniel, without the necessary survival skills, went looking for Bully and Sophie. Nathaniel, within an inch of his life, eventually found Bully - or in reality Bully found him, convincing him that it was probably his former business partner, the unscrupulous Ben Pease, who massacred the mission and kidnapped Sophie. So Bully and "Nate" joined forces to locate Ben and Sophie as Bully recognized his feelings for her and as Nate recognized her feelings for Bully. They discovered that Ben was working in cooperation with the Germans who were trying to set up a South Pacific outpost for global reach, and were probably going to use Sophie as a trading item to purchase an island from the natives who used maidens like Sophie as a sacrifice to their God. Nate and Bully and their crew had to save Sophie before she was used as a sacrifice, which meant needing to defeat Ben, the Germans and the natives of that island. The outcome of this tale will have an effect as Bully ultimately takes the walk to face the noose.