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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!
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