Despite the dreadful travails of poor Kate, orphaned English-born waif of the French Revolution, this is a cheerfully, delightfully peopled romantic adventure, ever on the move. In France, and still dazed by her actress mother's death by gunfire, Kate seems doomed to a grisly execution along with other innocents. However, she escapes to England and miraculously moves into a Jewish ghetto household of warmth and kindness. Although haunted by guilt--she feels she could somehow (no one could imagine how) have saved her fellow Frenchmen from death--she becomes happily established as a theater orange girl and supports her two charges, Titine and 'Alf, battered street children she has rescued and redeemed. Even when a smuggling lord threatens to expose her as an alien unless she performs as courier and later as a ""front"" at a seaside hotel, Kate enjoys life--money clinks in and new friends abound. But then, after finding her true love, she's arrested, sent to prison and tried, with hanging a good bet. Well, not really such a good bet, since a joyous close is the only way to finish off this fine, bustling tale steeped in sentiment as bald as the dome of St. Paul's.