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Nine-year-old Dido befriends Dutiful Penitence, daughter of a nineteenth-century whaling-ship captain, and ends up on Nantucket amid villains intent on killing England's apocryphal James III. The fate of an 11-year-old girl depends on the whimsy of a pink whale. Having had enough of life on board the ship that saved her from a watery grave, Dido Twite wants nothing more than to sail home to England. Instead, Captain Casket's ship lands in Nantucket, where Dido and the captain's daughter, Dutiful Penitence, are left in the care of Dutiful's sinister Aunt Tribulation. In Tribulation's farmhouse, life is unbearable. When mysterious men lurk about in the evening fog, the resourceful Dido rallies against their shenanigans with help from Dutiful, a cabinboy named Nate, and a pink whale.