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Poldark FrancisWith Grambler now lost, Francis takes to farming his land, though with much less flair than his cousin Ross. Seeing hard labour as beneath him and seething with jealousy and bitterness, he wishes Ross luck at his first copper auction since the formation of his “secretive” Carnmore Copper Company.

Whilst Ross’ plan works and the Carnmore successfully wins its bids for copper against the Warleggans, suspicions arise as to the names behind this new company that nobody has heard of before. George immediately suspects that Ross has something to do with it.

Across the country, the economy continues to worsen. More mines are closing and people are rioting – for starvation makes ordinary, law-abiding people desperate.  Meanwhile, Jinny is counting the days till her husband, Jim, will come home from his two-year sentence. She has not heard from him in several weeks and rumours abound that Bodmin Gaol where Jim is kept is riddled with fever.

Concerned over Jim’s welfare, Ross and Dwight go to the gaol to check on him. Upon their arrival, it is clear that even the prison wardens are staying away from the prisoners who are dying from all sorts of diseases. They find Jim hallucinating and surely close to death and take him out of gaol. Jim’s arm is riddled with gangrene and Ross begs Dwight to amputate to save his life. Unfortunately, it is too late.While Ross is away in Bodmin with Dwight, Demelza finds Keren knocking on Dwight’s door. Demelza warns Keren to be careful with her “roving eye”, that folks do not take too kindly on other women eyeing their husbands. She rudely dismisses Demelza’s accusations, but does not stop there. She goes so far as to deliberately throw herself off a ladder and breaks her arm so that Dwight could tend to her.

Poldark 106On the other side of the district, the Warleggans are throwing a ball, and this time, the women are invited to the party. Demelza is excited about attending her first ball, especially armed with her new dancing skills as a lady. But Ross has other ideas. Knowing that the people who are behind Jim’s sentencing – the people of “his society” – will be at the ball, he refuses to go. Verity, knowing that Ross broke Jim out of gaol, suggests that Ross’ presence at the ball might lead the magistrate to overlook his guilt by reminding them that he is of their class.

Reluctantly, Ross agrees. He buys Demelza a new dress for the ball and surprises her with delivery of a new necklace (though I am not sure just how he could afford those). Demelza, looking stunning, becomes the belle of the ball and catches the eye of everyone – men are queuing for a dance and women are jealously gossiping about how a scullery maid has slept her way into society. Verity has still not told Francis about her rekindled romance with Blamey, and the group cause a scene when they bump into each other. Of course, everyone else has already heard the rumours around town.

Elizabeth finds Francis and Ross at the card table in the gaming room. Ignoring her own husband, she suggests to Ross that “absentee husbands make for wandering wives”, hinting at his neglect of Demelza. Ross drunkenly returns to the ballroom to find Demelza, no longer the demure and obedient young girl she once was when he took her in, angrily demands that he behave himself. He skulks back into the gaming room.

As the night wears on, it would seem the others are tired, or maybe too broke, to continue gambling and it is only Ross and Matthew Sanson – the same man responsible for bankrupting Francis – who are left to play while others observe. Having lost all his cash, Ross is staking his valuables including the new necklace he just gave Demelza. At last, he stakes his share in Wheal Leisure.

Could this be the end of both the Poldarks’ fortunes? Alas, the final hand is dealt and Ross catches Sanson cheating! George jumps up to his defense but it is clear to everyone else in the room that Ross is right. Later, Francis warns him that he has well and truly set himself on a war path with the Warleggans – as it turns out, Sanson is George’s cousin, and he will not take kindly on being embarrassed at his own party in front of all of Cornish society. For once, Francis is absolutely right.

Read on for Episode 7 recap.