'Neb and Denmark were washed from the deck straight into the Atlantic Ocean. Clinging to the dog's collar with both hands, the boy did not see the wooden spar that struck him, nor did he know that his good and faithful dog pulled him up on to that same spar, saving them both. The last thing he remembered was a cold abyss of darkness. The Flying Dutchman receded into storm-torn darkness, leaving astern a dog clinging to a spar, with an unconscious boy draped across it, cast away upon the deeps.'
The "Flying Dutchman"! The legend of the wind-tattered ghost ship and its mad sea captain, cursed to sail the seas forever, has been passed down throughout the centuries. But what of the boy and his dog who are trapped on board that ship?
Thus begins one of the mightiest of Brian Jacques' stories, as boy and dog set off on a great journey, braving icy winds and waves to arrive on strange shores, and explore new places and times. Chapelvale village is their first destination, a sleepy Victorian town, replete with a bully and a mystery to solve.