In peaceful Hertfordshire of New South Wales in the mid-nineteenth century, a bored and reckless man who leads a swashbuckling life in the army of the East Indian Company is told by the overseer that a married man has more chance of gaining a pardon from the penal colony and being granted land.
Gentle Mary Anne becomes the unwitting wife of such a man, sold for a bottle of rum. With no other prospects, she takes her mother's advice to love and care for her husband and his children in hopes that loving a hard man consistently will bring about the happily-ever-after she longs for.
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