Twenty years span a changing England and Alex Wharton exchanges one loyalty for another when she loses Geoffrey Bliss, an actor-manager drenched in charm, and befriends, years after Geoffrey's death, 18 year old Ludo Carne whose unbridled, wild and tricky ways spell danger for her. Geoffrey's theater, extra-marital and self-excusing waywardness keep young Alex away from her vicarage background and, as his mistress, she is committed to being his refuge. Marriage to him, after his affairs with Lady Carne, results in her early widowhood when he is killed in a sentimental gesture during the war; and, later years, bring Lady Carne's youngest son, Ludo, to Alex' doorstep. Ludo, running away from America, forgery, embezzlement and a doubt of his manhood, rouses Alex' dedication -- and, finding in her sexual reassurance, works out the truth of his parentage, deceiver her as to the depth of his savage climate and writes a finish with young, drunken Elie, leaving Alex to live with unanswered questions. Frankau's soundproof English world here takes on a brittle effort which keeps it from being shockproof, and her usual articulateness gives way to a cryptic shorthand, sometimes difficult to follow. Perhaps a and theme will locate an audience. But Pamela Frankau's audience will be disappointed.