A story of hardship, poverty, and petty crime in London that leads to penal transportation at the end of the 18th Century. Tom, a young boy abandoned by his mother, spends time in the Workhouse before being taken in by smugglers. Unfortunately, Tom is captured in their stead and imprisoned in the hulks on the Thames. He is convicted and sent to Port Jackson on the Lady Mary. He is sent to work for a settler on the Hawkesbury River. Tom saves the settler family during a flood and has his sentence reduced. He chooses to stay in Australia with the hope of staying with Peggy, a convict girl he met on the journey to New South Wales. This tale goes into much detail about Tom's experiences in London, his trials on board the convict ship, his arrival in the new colony, and his interactions with other convicts, settlers, and Indigenous peoples.