A classic tale begins thus: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." This narrative starts on the worst of times.
Samuel Avondale, an orphaned seventeen-year-old, lives with his aunt, the wife of a gambling addict. All the money Mr. Jake Crafton makes goes to his habit. Samuel fishes and does odd jobs to see that his beloved aunt has food. She especially likes hot tea but seldom has money to buy it.
In the corner of the attic, Aunt Lisa has an old braided rug. On this prayer rug, she kneels to take her troubles to the Lord.
Many and varied are Samuel's trials. His intemperate uncle abandons him on a deserted isle for not relinquishing a small amount of many the boy has earned. How will he escape the exile?
A hermit who lives in a cavern on the coast befriends Samuel and becomes an answer to many "braided rug" prayers. Samuel repays the recluse in a unique way.
You can stop holding your breath now. The best of times are in the offing!