Edmund is obsessed by his memories of the beautiful Marion. He agrees
to be a witness at the wedding of Prettiman and Miss Granham, with whom
he has established a friendship.
Having despised Prettiman previously for his radical opinions, he now
finds himself being converted to a more liberal understanding of the world.
Benet's scheme to mend the broken foremast involves pouring molten metal
into its base. Though approved by Captain Anderson, this plan fills everyone
else with terror. All are now convinced that they will die, either by
drowning, burning, or starvation, as supplies are running low.
However, despite this and other perils, Australia is at last reached
and the ship docks in Sydney Cove.
Through Edmund's influence Summers is given his longed-for captaincy.
A delayed reaction to Benet's molten metal experiment causes the docked
ship to catch fire.
Edmund races to save his friend, but Summers chooses to stay with his
ship and is burnt to death in the conflagration.
Unexpectedly, Marion arrives in Sydney Cove on the Alcyone.
To his joy Talbot discovers that his love for Marion is shared by her,
and they, at least, have a happy ending.