days later, Belle and her mother are tending to laundry for the main house when in the distance they see Sam react angrily when his friend is clubbed by Van Bronke, Cobb’s senior Overseer. Sam goes to strike Van Bronke and is quickly overpowered by other Overseers and tied to a tree, Van Bronke, now obviously enjoying the occasion, prepares to begin a flogging. Sam’s father runs up and pleads for clemency, as his son is so young. The father offers to take the beating on his son’s behalf. Van Bronke orders the father to be whipped as well. Belle has run to the scene and is dragged away by her mother as the beatings start.
9:Montreal. October 1856
Sir George Simpson, the elderly Scot, who has been Governor of the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) for almost 60 years, is meeting with Alexander Sinclair. Sinclair, a man in his forties, has recently been appointed as one of two Deputy Governors of HBC. Simpson, an autocratic ruler, appears to have at last accepted that there will come a time that he will have to step down and is grooming Sinclair, a Scottish banker who has worked in Montreal for some time, for the role. Simpson tells Sinclair that the British Government are to hold a Parliamentary Enquiry into whether the HBC’s exclusive franchise to trade in Canada, should continue. Sinclair is to be dispatched to London, where the main board of the company is based, and to represent the HBC at Westminster.
10:Montreal. October 1856
Before leaving for London, Sinclair meets with Edward Watkin, an Englishman who has made considerable profits investing in British railway companies and then using the inside knowledge he is privy to for additional land speculation. He is now in Canada to look at similar opportunities and is especially interested in building telegraph and railway links across the country. Watkin is a client of Vessy Bank in London and has been introduced to Sinclair by Liam Vessy, who met Sinclair when he was on secondment in the bank’s Montreal office. Sinclair and Watkin have agreed