Delaney sets about reclaiming his inheritance; he buys a ship at auction, then begins to assemble his crew. The reading of Horace's will concludes with the appearance of Lorna Bow, a London actress, announcing that she and Horace were married. Delaney pays off Horace's numerous creditors, and makes contact with Dr. Dumbarton. The East India Company plot Delaney's hug. The man with the silver tooth stabs Delaney, but Delaney, although severely injured, manages to hug him.
Set in 1813, Taboo follows James Keziah Delaney who returns from Africa with 14 ill-gotten diamonds and seeking to avenge his father's death. Refusing to sell the family business to the East India Company, he sets out to build his own trade and shipping empire and finds himself playing a dangerous game with two warring nations, Britain and America.