The main character in the book is Louise Harris, a plain but content young woman who leads a life of prosy luxury. Louise gets up every morning and eats a copious breakfast, she walks the dogs, hunts in the autumn, and skates in the winter, just like hundreds of other well-born, well-bred English girls of average means.Loo is an altogether nice person, and so it is that Luke de Mountford, who knows a good thing when he sees it, asks her to be his wife. Luke is heir to his uncle, Lord Radcliffe and therefore deemed a satisfactory match for Louise.However, just when everything seems to be going well, another nephew with a claim to his uncle's fortune turns up unexpectedly. Luke is forced to reveal to Louise that their financial future may not be as guaranteed as he had hoped.Faced with this seemingly unavoidable situation, Luke is considering setting up an Ostrich farm in Africa as a way of making a living, but he can't bring himself to inflict such an existence on his darling Loo, who is always so perfectly dressed, so absolutely modern and dainty.When the intruder, Philip de Mountford, is discovered stabbed in a cab, suspicion naturally falls on Luke who certainly has a motive for murder. The head of the Criminal Investigation Department, who happens to be Louisa's uncle, reveals his evidence before the ensuing trial and allows Colonel Harris to conceal himself in his office while a witness for the prosecution details the points of the evidence he will give at the trial. He also reveals that he intends to allow Luke time to escape should the verdict at the inquest be against him.But Luke is, notwithstanding, tried for his life, and before his arrest he faces Louise once again.