Caroline Arless is out of debtor's prison and returning to Lark Rise, to the consternation of her family; Alf especially feels he must continue to put his life on hold to protect his younger siblings. Gabriel finishes work on his steam-powered seed planter, and farmers are soon clamoring to buy his invention. Dorcas fears the machine's success might take Gabriel away from Candleford.
When the Vicar falls ill, controversial and free-thinking curate Reverand Marley takes charge, causing consternation among some parishioners.
Gabriel Cochrane, the once-wealthy owner of a large iron foundry arrives in Candleford. The bank has repossessed his home and business, his young wife has died, and Gabriel finds himself looking for a new start. Dorcas extends him a hand by offering him a job and a home.
Mischief Night is approaching when residents of the towns play tricks on neighbors under cover of darkness. Meanwhile Fisher Bloom has returned, throwing Laura's feelings for Daniel into confusion. Bloom meanwhile is working on Daniel's printing press and the new station clock at Inglestone where he hears of a threat to the Candleford post office.
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