Episode description by:
One of my favourite programmes as James comes to
realize at the end that Anne is more important than another ship.
Making passage home, James and Baines find an abandoned schooner
adrift and despite Baines’ poor opinion of her, James is intrigued
by the mystery of the abandoned Maria da Gloria. James boards the
ship, jettisons the spoiled cargo
of sugar and takes her in tow to Ireland.
Meanwhile, Anne is carrying coal up steps in their ‘infernal
basement’ home whilst Elizabeth tuts at James’ inconsiderate
treatment of her. Anne feels queasy and says ‘It’s just a touch of
sickness that comes over me at times’
‘Sickness?’ retorts Elizabeth and they stare at one another as Anne
says ‘ Well haven’t you ever……. Oh no, it couldn’t be that’.
Robert also is accidentally told of Anne’s condition by Elizabeth when
he shows concern for her as she bursts into tears for no apparent
reason but ambitious Sarah is concerned at the news because if James
has a son, he’ll inherit the
Onedin Line, not their Samuel.
Anne goes to greet James on the Charlotte Rhodes and he excitedly
tells her his news of the ship that he can make money from one way
‘James I’m having a baby’ Anne finally blurts out. ‘What
did ya say?’ ‘I’m with child’
‘Why didn’t ya say so?’
‘I’ve been trying to but you didn’t give me the room to get a word
‘You sure?’ James needs confirmation. ‘ I wasn’t at first. I
couldn’t believe it but I’m sure now. James … is it good news?’ Anne
asks hesitantly. ‘Good news – its wonderful news – most wonderful
news I’ve heard in all my life’.
James is close to having the money to buy back enough shares to be
in control of the Onedin Line again but Elizabeth pesters him to get
Anne out of the basement into a proper house. Robert arrives with
news of the auction for the Maria da
Gloria in Roscarberry. The insurers own it as no named owner can be
traced and they appear to want a quick sale. James believes she is
undervalued and he, Robert and Anne (who insists she go) decide to
take a steamer to Roscarberry.
Anne feels unwell on the journey and James says ‘you’re never
seasick – it’s the baby. Should have stayed at home – I told you’.
In Ireland they inspect the ship and meet Mr Sankey from the
insurers who is disparaging about her qualities and value. James is
uneasy about what is being done with the ship and leaves Anne in bed
that night to look over her again. He finds evidence that she was a
‘slaver’ whose owners would not have registered her to avoid
discovery of the illegal trade and he tells Anne and Robert the next
‘Hang the salvage award – I’d rather have the ship. For five
hundred pounds she’d be an absolute bargain. On the fruit run from
the Azores, she’d beat everybody home’.
Anne says, ’but I thought
the five hundred pounds was for a house’.
James replies ‘oh Anne we
can always get a house’.
Daniel Fogarty is in league with the insurers and would buy the ship
as cheaply as possible if no one else were interested – it would
also do James out of a fair price for salvage. Emma Callon is
dispatched to visit Anne and James on the
pretext of asking after her condition but James is now convinced
that there is some underhand dealings with Fogarty and the ship.
‘Anne, if it should be necessary to find more than £500 would you
begrudge the expenditure?’
Anne asks ‘ how could you raise the money?’ ‘Sell some of the
shares’ ‘Couldn’t you sell a few more and we could have a house
as well?’ Anne.
James, ’Be a year before the Maria da Gloria made enough profit to
buy back the shares’
Anne, ’And a house couldn't make any profit to buy them back’.
‘You would begrudge it me eh?’
James makes it appear to Fogarty, Anne and everyone else that he has
no interest in the ship and James prepares to sail with Capt Baines
who makes sure Fogarty knows of the voyage. James says ‘ Anne that
ship could be the way back for
us’. Anne, ‘ another ship, another gamble ? Oh I’m sorry, I just
feel so weary’. Then she is told that James had already decided to
attend the auction in Ireland – he was never to sail with Capt
Baines. However, Anne is philosophical
as she tells Elizabeth ‘ I married James for security but I love him
for the lack of it’.
The auction is one where bidding happens whilst an inch of candle
burns and the last bid before the candle extinguishes is the winner.
James and \Fogarty go head to head. James bids two thousand and
eight hundred pounds as the candle
And meanwhile, carrying coal for the range, induces Anne to
miscarry. James returns home and is telling his tale to Robert,
emphasizing that the cost of the bid would be offset by the one
thousand pound salvage money due to him when he realizes Capt
Webster and Elizabeth are there also to tell him the news of Anne.
He rushes to her bed and she asks ‘Did we get the schooner?’
answers huskily ‘yeah’
‘Good, its what we need’. But James shakes his head as he grasps
Anne in his arms.