It was Sam Marlowe's fate to fall in love with a girl on the R.M.S. "Atlantic" (New York to Southampton) who had ideals. She was looking for a man just like Sir Galahad, and refused to be put off with any inferior substitute. A lucky accident on the first day of the voyage placed Sam for the moment in the Galahad class, but he could not stay the pace. He follows Billie Bennett around, scheming, blundering and hoping, so does the parrot faced young man Bream Mortimer, Sam's rival. There is a somewhat hectic series of events at Windles, a country house in Hampshire, where Billie's ideals still block the way and Sam comes on in spite of everything.