I removed Chapter One. I didn't think it added anything to the story. Instead, I present... Dramatis Personae. Any anachronisms I ask you to please tolerate; I began this story when I was about fourteen, and I can't seem to make it any different now. These facts are fixed in my head. Some of the ages you may quibble with; however, it's practically impossible to be sure of anyone's age in Ransome (apart from Roger's, in S&A), and the two dates he does give are opposed to each other. I have used a little artistic license and set this story in 1938, at which point I am well aware they would really have been slightly younger in Ransome's universe. Bear with me?

Major Characters:

Capt. Nancy Blackett: Twenty-four and a half at the start of the story. First woman accepted into the Navy proper, and subsequently Captain of an Africa-bound ship. At the start of the story, on leave after her first time in command. Recently recovered from a nasty tangle with malaria, and was given an extended leave period as a result, but nobody knows that. Except perhaps Titty.

Capt. John Walker: Twenty-four at the start of the story. Also a Captain in the Navy, though for longer than Nancy. A graduate of the RNC (Royal Naval College). On shore leave at the start of the story, and had flown back for his sister's wedding.

Dorothea Callum: Aged nearly nineteen at the start of the story.A published writer and jobbing actress, with no set home-moves between the Lakes, London and Horning.

Roger Walker: A general layabout at the start of the story, always about to join the RAF. Just turned eighteen.

Dr. Thomas Dudgeon: Twenty-three at the start of the story. Shares the responsibilities of being the village doctor with his father (as Tom is only recently qualified and not experienced enough to break out on his own).

Titty Walker: Only Titty Walker for very little time; marries Dick Callum shortly into the third chapter. Twenty at the start of the story. Recently bailed out of a German prison by her future husband. An artist and occasional poet.

Dick Callum: Nearly twenty at the start of the story. Marries Titty. Researching the properties of the electron.

Susan Walker: A socialite to the nth degree; spends most of her time at a flat in London, which she shares with Peggy Blackett. Twenty-two at the start of the story.

Peggy Blackett: Twenty-three at the start of the story. A lady of leisure and occasional French tutor. Shares a London flat with Susan.

Minor Characters:

Port and Starboard: Twenty at start of story. Stayed in Paris for a year after school, returning to Horning after that. Training to become professional boat-racers.

Joe and Bill: Both twenty-two at start of story, and boat-builders. Joe is based in Potter Heigham; Bill is still in Horning.

Pete: Twenty and a half at start of story. A boat-builder, but photographer as a sideline. Horning-based.

Phillip Dudgeon: Younger brother to Tom, formerly known as "our baby". However, since he is eleven at the start of the story, this title would no longer be appropriate. Attends the local school.

Bridget Walker: Younger sister to John, Susan and Titty. Attends a prestigious girls' school in Cambridge; however, is present in the first few chapters because of her sister's wedding. Aged twelve at the start of the story.

Of course, there are other characters; however, these are predominantly natives, and will be introduced as needed. For the purposes of telling this history, Dick and Titty will not be considered natives, despite their marital status.