'What had there been before such a ship in my life? A dugout canoe
on a river journey? A launch in Trincomalee harbour? There were
always fishing boats on our horizon. But I could never imagine the
grandeur of this castle that was to cross the sea'. In the early
1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner in Colombo bound
for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the lowly 'cat's table' -
as far from the Captain's table as can be - with a ragtag group of
adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship
crosses the Indian Ocean the boys tumble from one adventure to
another,and at night they spy on a shackled prisoner - his crime
and fate a mystery that will haunt them forever...
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