Lady Lolita Vernon, daughter of the late Earl of Walcott and Vernon, has run away. Her stepfather, Ralph Piran, is forcing her to accept the attentions and perhaps an offer of marriage from his business partner, Murdock Tanner, who is very rich, but old and repulsive. While she is trying to cover her tracks in London, she bumps into a small boy, Simon, who is weeping because he has been beaten cruelly by his stepmother. Because it seems a strange coincidence and because Lolita is desperately sorry for the small boy, she listens to his story and agrees to take him to his uncle, Lord Seabrook, who lives in a castle by Lake Ullswater.
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