Young English immigrant Gabriel Fox comes to the marvellous Melbourne of the 1870s as a third class passenger, falling in love with a first class girl against the social conventions of the time. But the extraordinary characters he meets in this fast growing city don’t care about convention, and that is a great help in winning the girl’s hand. He is plunged into the often dishonest financial dealings of the time, with all the attendant political and social stresses. While remaining honest himself, with great difficulty, he faces bank crashes and deals with a partner who registers a building society with a paid up capital of one pound. Gabriel has a wild ride in Melbourne to ultimately reach his own fortune.