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This is a fast-moving adventure novel about Roy Williams, a novice deckhand on the mighty paddlewheel steamboat Oakdale, who gets trapped between two implacable enemies and must somehow survive this feud during a voyage down the Ohio River. The descriptions of river navigation and the boat are true and the engaging characters are well developed through pleasing dialogue. The cover painting and illustrations are by Captain John Hartford, the poet and composer who wrote the hit song Gentle on My Mind. This novel is an accurate portrayal of a by-gone era on the rivers by Captain Alan L. Bates, one of America's leading steamboat historians.