So the voyage comes to an end and for some it is a joyous climax but there is also plenty of regret and misery still to come.
Edmund manages to get a promotion for his friend Summers to the position of captain and then almost immediately loses his relationship to the man. Summers becomes obsessed with his boat and the jobs he might have to undertake in the harbour.
In a cruel twist of fate the fire down below that he always suspected was there in the mast bursts into life and Charles and the boat he loved are destroyed. At the same time Talbot’s influential godfather dies and he loses his position. Most of those around him start to snub him and consider him no longer in the ascendancy.
Most importantly the love of his life Marion arrives and because of his fall in fortune she is advised to keep him at arms bay by her patron Lady Somerset. But they declare their love for each other and she leaves him promising to wait for him for as long as it takes.
Meanwhile, the utopian dreamers the Prettimans disappear into the bush and most of the other passengers also vanish leaving Talbot alone working for the governor.
But another reversal in fortunes follows the reading of his godfather’s will and the announcement that Talbot has won his godfather’s old seat in a rotten borough. He heads back to England via India. He finally gets the chance to run into the arms of his beloved Marion.
During the voyage what is most interesting is the growing fire down below, which for Talbot concerns his love for Marion. For others it might be political, jealousy or ambition but for Talbot it is reasonably innocent.
A review will follow soonish…