Ned is a young Englishman who is bitten by the bug of Californian gold rush. He always dreams about going to California and working in the gold fields in spite of stern warnings from his uncle Mr Shirley. But everything is not as easy it seems, especially, the harsh conditions of the gold miners and the difficulties they face in their tasks at hand. But will Ned survive the hardships or will he fail miserably and return to England empty handed? R M Ballantyne was a famous children's author and a renowned artist.