Mrs. Bell, housekeeper at Mount Eden, is found murdered and little Linda Bell, seven years old, is missing. Ole Fren Yorky is suspected of the killing and the kidnapping. Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is seconded to investigate the crime on behalf of the South Australian Police. He spends much time talking with the local aborigines because he is convinced that they know more about the case than they are saying. When he discovers that old Chief Canute has been promised Meena and that Charlie is in love with her, he buys Meena for forty plugs of tobacco and tells Charlie that he will give him Meena if he will help him. The story ends with a thrilling race against time as flood waters from the Northern River rush into the almost dry Lake Eyre.