James Onedin has made enough profit from the
trip to Baltimore to pay off the mortgages on the Charlotte
Rhodes and the warehouse. He returns to find Anne Webster
chatting with Michael Adams, her close friend since
childhood who went to sea four years previously. James
becomes jealous, and not without reason. It turns out the
pair had planned to marry after Adams returned, but he did
not, nor did he write.
Despite having been separated for three months, James
decides to sail off again straight away. Anne asks to join
him. She finds Adams aboard as part of the crew. During the
voyage, she learns he had not come back because he thought
he was wanted for the murder of a tyrannical shipmate. The
real (accidental) murderer also happens to be on the ship.
When he refuses to sign a confession, Michael punches him,
sending him tumbling overboard to drown. Anne had previously
protested how the murderer had been let off the hook by the
captain of the other ship, but now she is happy to see James
Onedin show her old boyfriend the same leniency.