The sequel to Cuttlefish. Spoilers ahead
It opens with Tim on the title machine, and hating it. And backfills with the story: in which, having arrived at Weststralia, Clara's mother falls ill. And the captain of the Cuttlefish discusses their shortage of money. The crew go to take jobs, and Clara is filled with frustration, even though the family taking her in is being kind. Meanwhile, Duke Malcolm has decided to use Clara's father as bait to catch her.
It involves complications when a doctor is summoned to the hospital; appropriating a steam mole; a young man called after his mother's favorite hymn; how you run trains in the heat; a girl who took riding lessons; questions of catalysts; a large demand for payment; some unusual police; and more.