Charlotte loves to play marbles with her best friend Harry and read about adventures on the high seas. But Charlotte will have to leave school soon and help her mother with the house and the younger children. Charlotte can't imagine anything worse. When it looks like her mother is going to keep her home for good, Charlotte and her new friend Cyril board a Cobb & Co coach and head to Hogburn Gully, where the Otago gold rush is in full swing. But the mining town isn't what Charlotte imagined. Can Charlotte find a fortune in the goldfields? Or will she have to return home to a narrow life of sewing, cooking and looking after her little sisters?