The gentleman of expensive tastes and no money stands at life's crossroads. He must either marry money or work. The Marquis de Maufringneuse was such a gentleman, and in the course of a chequered career had tried the both alternatives. Unfortunately, neither had paid off permanently and shortly after this story opens he again finds himself without means of support. However, the gay Marquis is not entirely bereft. His writer-son is living in a suitable Parisian garret, a young man with a regrettable taste for work inherited from his maternal American parent. Jeff has assisted his father with loans in the past and will doubtlessly do it again. And so it proves. Thus his finances revitalized, the Marquis sets off to the sea — to the exclusive St. Rocque — where his persuasive charm and native wit carry him smoothly into the moneyed society of a party of American socialites and a wide-eyed Cinderella. Complications soon arise, of course, not the least of which is the presence in the party of his ex-wife, but the Marquis is too old a campaigner to be deflected by a woman's truculence. Having dedicated himself to the re-shaping of his family fortunes, he jauntily pursues his course, and though his methods are unorthodox to the point of being shady, they do produce results— surprising results.