Helen Goulburn, eighteen, and her little sister Janey, age six, live in the most splendid country house in the county; but they are alone for the most part since their rich financier father is not accepted socially. One night everything changes when their father makes them come with him in the middle of the night, to travel to France. At first Helen does not know what is happening, but eventually she accepts that they are fugitives. Even then she does not quite realise he had been a swindler.
They settle in the quiet village of Sainte-Barbe, but after only a week meet an old friend of Helen's, Charley Ashton, and flee once again. This time they settle in the remotest of villages, Latour. Will Helen be able to build any kind of life for herself? And will her father be safe from his enemies?