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Ben Jacardi was the first of his family to make his life on the canals – as a bargeman and also as the builder of the narrowboat, Grey Lady. His mentor was Josiah Armstrong who had taken him in as an apprentice and who came to regard him as the son he’d wanted his own to be, but who flitted with all his savings. Ben’s awkward courtship and early years of marriage to Faith eventually settles into a strong partnership, further enhanced with the birth of James. And it is James who discovers his father’s true ancestry and learns how he has unwittingly followed the footprints of his forebears.