Charles Smith (a pseudonym adopted through force of circumstances), is a recently graduated engineer with no more prejudices than the next man. He accepts a job with an American company in a typical African country. It is a bit of a culture-shock, but he is adaptable. He needs be, as various people he comes into contact with use their official capacity as a cloak for intelligence gathering/political purposes/private advantage as the case may be.

The country in question is ruled by a compromise head of state who realizes that his days in this role are numbered. This semi-dictatorial figure tries to safeguard his future by salting away some funds abroad.

The leftist opposition has cast an eye on the same funds however, in their case to pay for the purchase of arms to start a revolution and overthrow the present regime. To this end they ruthlessly eliminate all who might stand in their way, and substitute their own middle-man.

Both parties are manipulated in their turn by a presumed Belgian who has some devious ideas of his own. Question remains: who gets his way? For 'Charles Smith' belatedly throws a spanner in the works, whereby he is guided more by his personality than by principle. From adaptability to corruptability turns out to be a small step . . .

Partially based on actual happenings, hitherto kept absolutely secret