In this classic story, US Army Lt. Philip Nolan is upset with his assignment to a remote outpost with no possibility for promotion. He intends to join Aaron Burr, who plans to form a new country in the lands west of the Mississippi River. Before he can get away, Nolan is charged with treason. At his court martial, he angrily tells the tribunal that he never wants to see or hear of the United States again. He gets his wish, and is sentenced to permanent, lifetime exile aboard US ships at sea. No crew member can mention anything about the United States within his hearing, and in the books he is allowed to read, all references to the United States are removed.