Just before dawn the bell wakes the young apprentices for another 12-hour shift at Quarry Bank Mill. Charlie Crout forces Miriam to leave the factory floor and his absence leads to an accident.
Esther Price arrives at court after assaulting her overseer, Charlie Crout. On the assumption that she will be found guilty, Mr Timperley is sent to the workhouse to collect a replacement apprentice.
Esther and Lucy head for Liverpool, chased by Timperley, but discover that Lucy's sister Catherine never returned to the workhouse
Lucy and Esther are convinced that Mr Timperley is responsible for Catherine's disappearance. They're determined to expose him but are blocked at every turn.