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Sammy, a 10-year-old boy whose parents were killed in the bombing of Port Said during the Suez Crisis, sets out for Durban to visit his Aunt Jane, unware that he must trek 5,000 miles across an entire continent. He is picked up by a Syrian peddler who plans to exploit him, but the man has an accident and dies. Sammy then encounters Gloria von Imhoff, a rich American tourist, but he distrusts her and runs away. His next acquaintance is Cocky Wainwright, a diamond smuggler and hunter who becomes fond of the lad and takes him to his hideout, teaches him to shoot, and reminisces about his past. Their happy relationship is abruptly ended when Cocky is arrested and taken to jail. He is visited there by Sammy's aunt, who accepts Cocky's advice that the boy be permitted to finish his journey alone. When Sammy finally reaches his aunt's hotel in Durban, she is there to greet him.