A tale of smuggling and mystery on the Dorset coast as told by John Trenchard, a boy obsessed with discovering the secret of Colonel "Blackbeard" Mohune's hidden treasure. One night, trapped in the Mohune family vault beneath the church, John finds a locket round the Colonel's neck which contains verses from the Psalms of David. What could it mean? Elzevir Block, landlord of the local public house, who has lost his son in the contraband wars, befriends John and together they struggle to find the secret of Blackbeard's buried wealth. It is an adventure story full of action and misfortune spanning many years, two different countries and ending with a message to us all.