Jan van Mitten and his valet Bruno (both of Rotterdam, Holland) are in Istanbul, Turkey. The pair are going to meet with Van Mitten’s tobacco business associate, a headstrong man named Kéraban. At Van Mitten’s meeting Kéraban decides to take them to dinner at his home in Scutari on the other side of the Bosphorus Strait. Just before they are going to cross the Strait a tax is imposed on all vessels that can be used to cross the strait. Enraged by this new tax, Kéraban decides to take his associates to Scutari by traveling seven hundred leagues around the perimeter of the Black Sea so that he won’t have to pay the paltry 10 paras tax. Kéraban, this man of principle, and his reluctant traveling companions begin the journey; the only deadline for Kéraban is that he must be back in 6 weeks time so that he may depart in time to arrange for his nephew’s wedding to a young woman who must be married before she turns seventeen. If she doesn’t meet that deadline, she won’t inherit 100,000 Turkish pounds. Unfortunately for Kéraban and friends the villains Yarhud, Scarpante and the man they work for Seigneur Saffar have plans to ensure that the young woman gets married to Saffar before the deadline.