The story follows a dozen years in Pond’s life. The married father of seven, he is a teacher who becomes a deacon in the Church of England. After his posting in Australia, he survives savage racial differences, catastrophic gold rush disruptions to his flock, the ever-present bushranger dangers, the arrogance of infinite and unbridled police power, and the bush in its rawest form. Through Pond, the reader sees the chronic differences between original settlers and indigenous Australians, while observing Britain’s empirical growth worldwide. Pond’s journey to Australia and his observations are covered in flashbacks to reveal factors that influenced the development of the unique Australian culture.