Pinkerton agent Calvin Sharp has come from Chicago to Virginia to investigate a couterfeiting ring. When he finds himself at a slave auction, what can he do about the pathetic seven-year-old boy on the block? Calvin decides to purchase the boy and soon meets the daughter of the boy's former master. Sarah Hawthorne questions Calvin with coded words, hoping to find out that he helps slaves escape to the North as she does. But Calvin is only acting out of his faith in God and his compassion. Sarah and Calvin soon feel a strong attraction developing, in spite of her family's strong ties to slavery and, worse, her engagement to a slave owner. Does their relationship even have a chance?