Simeon Dredge is cutting cords for the first time. Ambitious and young, he has no concept of what working in the woods will entail, although his brother-in-law Albert provides him with plenty of unwanted reality checks. When a Commission Government representative is sent from St. John's to investigate the notoriously poor conditions in the lumber camps, Albert fears that Sim's naivete and ambition will cause him to be branded a troublemaker. Meanwhile, the CEO of the island's largest paper company fears that the arrival of the investigator will trigger the rebellion that's brewing amongst his labour force. The resulting political fallout will set in motion a cycle of exploitation that will threaten the fabric of a society for a century.