Canton 1833. Walter Eastman and Gideon Chase, young Americans working in the ‘Factories’ - the home of the East India Company on the south China coast - are at loggerheads with the European community which thrives on the opium trade. When Eastman is fired, he and Chase establish an irreverent weekly paper, The Lin Tin Bulletin and River Bee. In their writing - particularly in their attacks on their rival paper, the conservative Canton Monitor - the two buccaneers show a flamboyance and crusading zeal. When the first Opium War breaks out their lives grow increasingly dangerous and diverse.