A young Greek boy living in an isolated small village seeks to continue the Spartan way of living and tries to join the army at age 7, the same as the Spartans. His attempt to join is picked up by the newspapers and read by a wealthy Greek man from New York who offers to send him through Military School. Nikos becomes a courier of funds slated for helping the Conservative faction to overthrow the Liberals in Greece. His adventures awaken his understanding in his friendships with men and women.
At first seeing this monstrous ship, Nikos felt awed. He watched the ship’s crew doing their work and decided that perhaps working as a sailor was just as hard as working on the farm. As he looked about, he wondered how a ship made of iron could stay on top of the water and what made it stop from rolling over on its side . If he ran from one side to the other, the ship did not move at all. It was as though he was no more than a fly and his weight did not influence this big floating grey piece of metal. His eyes went up to the smoking funnels and he wondered why a fire was necessary for the ship to move. There were so many fascinating questions he asked himself that he knew he must find someone who could answer all his questions. Luckily his someone was Agoustos Pappas, a seaman who had worked most of his life on ships and someone who had no home to go to. Now near 48 years of age, he could no longer think of living in one place, although he was told by the ship’s captain that he would have to retire after this return voyage because of his health.