Abandoned amidst a hostile wilderness, Paul has been rescued by a biologist, Mr Amid. The scientist is studying the pearls that are Altair's true wealth - and more particularly the plants that produce them and that appear to be dying off. Amid offers to take on Paul as his assistant, but the young man is still looking for his father. As he follows the trail, Paul becomes tougher and more inured to life on his new planet - and to human nature.
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