The Naval Service of the Honorable East India Company, popularly known as the Bombay Marine, operated in romantic areas in perilous times. From the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, from Calcutta to Canton, the Company ships were famous for their speed and daring. The "Bombay Buccaneers" who sailed them were the stuff of legend.

Percival Merewether, promoted from First Lieutenant to become the junior Captain in the Company’s Service and given the command of his first ship - the Rapid, had quick wits and daring to match his ambition.