In 1944, Harry Boyd had never been out of the small town in Nova Scotia, Canada where he had been born, until he joined the Canadian Army.
He had joined the army because he was obsessed with the ambition to perform heroic deeds on the battlefield which he did not expect to survive. Instead, to his great disgust he was assigned to a regiment which was sent to Jamaica, B.W.I, probably the safest and least demanding-of-heroism place in the world at that time. So he did not manage to find the martyrdom he sought but he did manage to create some excitement.
He had never known a black person; there were none in his home town and he ended up in the city of Kingston which had an almost completely black population, a complete racial reversal. This required some adjusting.
It was not the only thing that required adjusting. He had always been painfully shy, but Jamaican rum helped him overcome this handicap. He had successive affairs with a black girl, an oriental and a white girl. He fell deeply in love with each girl but managed to bungle each romance. However, he did finally manage to find love, from an unexpected quarter.
Militarily, he went from escapade to escapade and was a constant trial to senior officers. He even had an unofficial feud with the British brigadier who commanded all the military forces on the island. It is a military axiom that you never win a disagreement with a superior officer but Harry managed to eke out a tie - barely.
He had a successful tour of duty in Jamaica. He learned to love the island, avoided a constantly threatening court-martial, and finally found his true love.