Pit deputy John Wilde knows it's high time he settled down and found himself a wife. Elsie Hartley, the butcher's pretty daughter, seems a worthy candidate. But although at first she encourages his courtship, Elsie abruptly changes her mind for reasons John cannot understand. John's wounded pride is soothed by his growing friendship with another attractive young woman. Feisty and outspoken, Alice Peters' passionate support of the suffragette cause is bound to make her unpopular among the traditional mining community. But her fervent political beliefs are destined to lead her into far more serious trouble. Elsie meanwhile is hiding a shameful secret - a secret that's about to cause widespread disruption in the close-knit village of Annsdale.