The small boat propelled by the man's feet on the roof moved into the flooded mine shaft. It was as blck as the inside of the devil's belly, teh girl child frozen with fear whimpered. The boatman soothed her. "Listen maid, can you not hear the little folk? The tinners, tapping with their tiny hammers?" She listened to the slap of the waves on the clinkers of the keel. Her mind transported and thus began a story.
1821 survivor, Frenchman Christian de Furneaux crawls onto the dubious sanctuary of a Cornish beach. He sets in motion a saga that wuill encompass the tin mines of Cornwall to, decades later, the tin mines of South Australia.
His descendants, including protagonist Jonathon de Furneaux, endure th downturn of the tin and copper industries. They grapple with the emerging China clay trade. Unexpected deaths, missing children and alcoholism.
Jonathon travels to North Wales learns about sheep husbandry and slate quarrying but following setbacks, the family decide to seek a future in South Australia. They quickly become emroiled in the ethos of thier new country and the different religious beliefs, cultures, politics of the 1880's and early gold rush finds.