The novel begins in Boston in 1773, the year of the Boston Tea Party. At the beginning of the story, Johnny is serving as an apprentice to a silversmith, and many of the early chapters describe the smith's home and shop. When Johnny is forced to seek work elsewhere, the setting changes to Hancock's Wharf and some of the businesses located there. After Johnny becomes a rider for the Boston Observer newspaper, the narrative follows him to the homes of some of Boston's most affluent and prominent citizens. The story ends after the 1775 Battle of Lexington, which marked the beginning of the American Revolution.

(The entire section is 103 words.)