The riches to rags drama of the gentle Olivia, Lady Beauregard, takes her from the devoted side of the Earl with the return of Denzil Allary- ""from the dead""- her first lover who had abandoned her and whose son she had borne. The knowledge that her lover has not changed except for the worse, does not deter her, and she goes with him but insists on reclaiming their son, also Denzil. Denzil, pere, buys a livery stable; he drinks, gambles and boats them both; Denzil, fils, is like his mother and a sensitive and brilliant student. It is not until he comes down with scarlet fever that his father is for the first time fatherly- he nurses him back to health, establishes a certain contact. The Earl dies and leaves her a small estate- which she must accept- if with sorrow and guilt but there is now a better chance for their future all together..... All for love and love conquering all, except perhaps the reader.