Having resigned his commission in the Survey Service rather than face a court martial, John Grimes is now owner and master of Little Sister, a pinnace spacecraft made of modified gold. Formerly the property of the Baroness d'Estang of El Dorado, the ship has come to Grimes in lieu of back pay. Grimes is at a low point in his ever-shifting space career. His last delivery ended in disaster and he's now stuck on a planet with Little Sister impounded and awaiting a law-suit. Financial necessity forces him to take on the lowest space job of them all - caretaker captain of a decommissioned orbiting spaceship. Then Grimes falls into the clutches of terrorists and needs all his luck to get out alive. Even when he does, with the help of Susie and her comrade, he bounces from one danger to another - this time in the form of tiny female-like sharp-toothed creatures whose only reason for existing is to eat Grimes alive!'