The story of ex-quartermaster, James Hyde. From a modest store he established on the waterfront at Sydney in 1837 he develops his business which assumes overwhelming proportions and drains the lifeblood of his family, whose attempts to escape its grip are fruitless. Through his energy and foresight the years of the gold rush bring increased prosperity-but they also heighten the tension under which the family lives. But all the wealth in the world will not keep tragedy away – and the great house Hyde wanted is built – but to what end? This novel, written in 1929 by two young women graduates of Sydney University – Marjorie Barnard and Flora Eldershaw – was the judges’ first choice in the Sydney Bulletin’s competition for the best novel submitted by an Australian author and has gone into edition after edition.