Linetta was alone in the world.
Her dying governess instructed her to go to Paris and seek the help of her niece, Marie. Had that good lady known what had happened to simple, good-hearted Marie--now Blanche d'Antigny, the toast of the Paris demi-monde, paramour of men twice her age--it would have been the last place she'd have sent Linetta!
But her instructions were carried out, and innocent, inexperienced Linetta found herself caught up in a life that dazzled and bewildered her. And most puzzling of all was Marie's plan for her future: accepting the "protection" of a wealthy, generous older man. Linetta was sure the plan would have displeased her mother. But what alternatives were there? She was alone and penniless. Was there no one to help her decide what to do?
Marquis of Darleston has met her on board the steamer to Paris, and he is surprised to meet her later in the home of the courtesan Blanche d'Antigny.