Africa, 1863. Sir Richard Francis Burton is an explorer, a linguist, a scholar, and the king's agent - or is he a puppet being manipulated by forces he cannot understand? A race to find the source of the Nile! Algernon Charles Swinburne is a famous young flame-haired poet, thrill-seeker, and follower of the Marquis de Sade. For him, pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin!
Here they are, back to where the adventure began. It is 1863, but not the one it should be. Time has veered wildly off course, and moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war. Prime Minister Lord Palmerston believes that by possessing the three Eyes of Naga he'll be able to manipulate events and avoid the war. He already has two of the stones, but he needs Sir Richard Francis Burton to recover the third.
For the king's agent, it's a chance to return to the Mountains of the Moon to make a second attempt at locating the source of the Nile. But a rival expedition led by John Hanning Speke stands in his way, threatening a confrontation that could ignite the very war that Palmerston is trying to avoid!
Caught in a tangled web of cause, effect, and inevitability, little does Burton realize that the stakes are far higher than even he suspects. A final confrontation comes in London, where, in the year 1840, Burton must face the man responsible for altering time: Spring Heeled Jack!
Burton and Swinburne's third adventure completes the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack and The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man.