Judith Taverner and her brother, Peregrine, are orphans. The death of their eccentric father left them well provided for but consigned to the guardianship of a man they have never met, Julian St. John Audley, Lord Worth. When repeated requests for an introduction to him go unanswered, they set off to London to force a meeting. En route, they spend the night in the village of Grantham, where they make the acquaintance of their Uncle Bernard. Judith and Perry, knowing that their father had disowned his brother many years ago are reluctant to acknowledge the relationship, but Bernard proves to be polite and charming. They also run afoul of an arrogant aristocrat when Perry mishandles a borrowed gig on the road and causes a near-accident. On reaching London, Judith and Perry are amazed and horrified to discover that the insufferable nobleman who made their lives a misery in Grantham is none other than Lord Worth himself.