Lieutenant Pook sounds pretty good, at least it did to Pook himself, who was seconded to the Royal Ramsami Navy to undertake the strangest mission ever to befall a naval officer. Precisely what that mission was, though, Pook never quite discovered.
Assisted by Honners as navigating officer, Peter Pook sets out from the Eastern state of Ramsam as crack naval diver of the Fleet, on board the mystery ship Soonong. In command of the vessel is one of the toughest characters ever to sail the notorious China Coast, Commander Bray—250lb of the liverish breed that made Britain great, whose brilliant seamanship has made his name a legend throughout the repair yards of the Orient. His dislike of Pook is apparent from the first, and is helped along by jealousy over a beautiful half-caste girl, whom Pook unwittingly introduces to a house of ill-fame in the wicked city of Shaggapore.
With superb confidence, born of utter incompetence, Pook blunders through the hazards of naval diving, religious taboos and Oriental marriage, under the all-seeing eye of the Nawab of Ramsam. He flirts with the Nawab’s wife, falls in love with a night-club singer, swims across a sacred lake and finally becomes enmeshed in the macabre religious practices of the Ramsamis.
Nevertheless he still finds time to be shipwrecked in the Bay of Bengal and sink a warship under his captain’s feet. Happily, Commander Bray and Lieutenant Pook decide to bury the past like true shipmates and as a result of this resolve, their bloody fight on the waterfront of Chattoo dockland sets a new standard in human conflict and endurance, albeit a new low in naval discipline. Whether or not the reader is acquainted with Pook’s earlier adventures in Banking on Form, Pook in Boots and Pook in Business, he will recognize this personality as the funniest on the current comedy scene.