Mary Johnson shares her past sorrow with the insightful convict Anne Meredith as the camp waits for news of Freeman.
Sergeant Timmins considers it too dangerous to pursue James into the jungle so he claims to have shot him, getting his men to fire their guns. Vicar Johnson makes Anne Meredith tell his wife that she does not have the gift of second sight but Mrs Johnson realizes that this is a lie and goes for a session with Anne, who encourages her to try for a baby with her husband. The Johnsons also expose Ross's sadistic treatment of Kitty as a result of which he appears to be contrite, offering his men to build the Johnsons' church and softening in his attitude towards Kitty. James returns from the jungle after a confrontation with another escapee. He is due to hang but pardoned on condition that he becomes the colony's hangman himself.
McVitie is threatened with a hundred lashes by Major Ross, who takes her suicide attempt as an insult; but intervention by the Reverend Johnson leads to a compromise satisfactory to Ross's desires and the restart of the church construction. Mrs Johnson is given hope for the future by the insight of Anne Meredith. Freeman returns to the colony after a run-in with an escaped prisoner who was thought to be dead, Jefferson. Freeman is sentenced to be hanged and the Governor unsuccessfully canvasses the prisoners for a hangman; finding no volunteer, the Governor has to do it himself, and with Freeman in the noose on the scaffold, offers him a way out.
- James Freeman has vanished deep into the dense bush. No man has ever been known to survive there and Sergeant Timmins decides following him is futile and way too dangerous for his men.
Back at camp when Major Ross questions Timmins about the escapee, his sergeant is economical with the truth. Word amongst the convicts is that James is dead man, either shot by the soldiers or about to perish in the terrifying and infinite wilderness of the hinterland.
At the officers' tents there is disquiet. Reverend Johnson challenges Major Ross about the misery his sexual demands are causing Katherine. A compromise is reached, which helps empower Katherine and her life becomes more tolerable. But Corporal McDonald who dearly loves Katherine is worried about these new developments. Will this new arrangement bring the threaten of a deeper relationship?
Sharing her sorrow with the insightful convict, Anne Meredith has given Mary Johnson a sense of peace and renewed hope for the future. After years of fearful abstinence, the Johnsons resume their conjugal rights in the cosiness of their canvas tent.
When Stubbins gives Captain Collins his wife's letter to read the honourable officer is in a quandary about whether to tell the young convict what her words actually say. The truth could bring unnecessary heartbreak.
Then against impossible odds James staggers half-dead back into camp. With Marston's body found and identified, James is duly sentenced to hang. But the colony does not have an official hangman. One must be found and no-one wants the job. Will Governor Phillip's enticements work?