After the police interrupted his duel with Nicky Blunt (probably saving his life), Matthew escaped through the Log to the modern world for a well-deserved break from 18th-century problems. But he can't help but wonder how he might help his benefactor, Francis Rotch, who is about to lose his cargo of tea to the corrupt British governor of Boston.
A battle surged down the docks, dark-clad figures in the early gloom of a foggy July evening advancing with loud cries, swinging their swords and firing their guns. The beleaguered little band opposing the attackers retreated stubbornly, taking cover behind boxes and piles of tackle, leaning out from around corners to snap off shots, but these, being hurried, were essentially unaimed and did no good. Now the end of the dock was at their heels, and there were no boats waiting to take them off—no escape—just the prospect of an icy swim. With the other shore at least two miles off, surrender or slaughter seemed the only choice.