When Max sees their new neighbour Sam Black, hit Lucas, a boy living in his care, he is horrified. He has heard terrible stories about Sam Black who seems to be living up to his reputation. However, the time is the 1830's and Papa explains to Max that he "can't tell a man how to raise his boy". Max meets up with Lucas again, this time at the general store at The Landings where the hungry Lucas steals a potato. When Lucas runs away and takes refuge in Max's secret fort in the woods, Max must decide where his loyalties lie. Max must face his first moral dilemma when an abused boy turns up at his secret fort in the forest.