This story is about John Duncan (forty-five-year-old man). He was a honest man and he was very poor, too. He and his two children were living in the small, miserable flat. The furniture was 20 years old, the wallpaper and carpets were cheap and dirty. He was a windower, because his wife, Rachel, drowned in the storm. When she had been alive, they used to live in big house in the country, with a large garden. They had everything that they needed. Then they (John and Rachel) had started the boat-building company, but after Rachel died he couldn't work, so the company had closed and he lost everything.
When Mr Duncan got the work in paint factory, they were starting a new life. He and his children: Christine (sixteen-year-old girl) and Andrew (he was thirteen) moved to the new comfortable, house with a large field beside it and it was only half a kilometre from the river, so they bought a boat.
Mr Duncan was a very good biologist and in factory all day he had to test different types of paints. One day he split some of the waste products on his leg and he had to go to the doctor, because in left a red, painful place on his skin.
John Duncan worked with Mary Carter (the chemist, who had discovered new paint for cars). Once he invited her to a meal in the new house, but it wasn't a good meeting. Mary came again and John took them all (his children, too) out in their new boat. Andrew and Christine had started to like her.
In the factory he had to test the waste products on rats. He put it in rats' food or drinking water. Some of them had delivered their babies. But little rats born without eyes, ears or with six legs. John had written a report for his boss- David Wilson, who didn't like it, because John asked for new machines to clean up the waste products before they go into the river. But the machines were too expensive, so they couldn't buy them.
Simon was a Christine's boyfriend, who had written a full-page article every week in the local newspaper about the environment. Mr Duncan didn't like him, but Mary talked with Christine and with John, so they weren't still enemies. Christine and Simon were married on a fine day in June.
During this time the seals from the local river had a strange disease.
Seven baby seals found dead and one was born without a tail. John was trying to explain that this disease wasn't because of the waste products from factory. Mary left the factory and moved to Scotland, because she knew that the situation wouldn't be better.
When John had gone to see Mary, Christine and Simon arrived to his house and taken his boat. They met with their friends- Peter and Susan and the all of them sailed upstream, towards the paint factory. They put into the pipe (from the factory) a few paper bags full of cement.
Then the back of sail hit Christine hard on the back of the head, so she felt into the water, but Simon saved her. This adventure was in fact more dangerous, because Christine was pregnant.
Two days latter, the Public Enquiry has begun. Scientists came from London to ask questions about the disease that was killing the seals. Mr Duncan had to tell them that the waste products isn't dangerous (he had to lie, because his boss ordered him that). Then the lawyer told him about Christine's accident and that she drunk a lot of water from the river. Mr Duncan remembered those rat babies with six legs and he started to be frighten about his daughter's baby, so he told the whole truth.
John Duncan had to move to a small flat, because he lost his job and he couldn't afford the payments on his big house. His daughter was going to have a baby soon, so he bought meny toys and baby-clothes. But he didn't give those her, because she didn't want to talk with him. Every morning he rang a hospital, to ask if she was there. When the nurse told him that his daughter is there and the baby is coming, he went out to the shop with flowers. Then he bought some and went to the hospital