The brains and beauty -- and the red hair and bright green eyes -- of young Amelia Macreary take her a long distance from the Glasgow slum where she was born. From the Presbyterian to the Episcopal Church, from the local to a refined accent and on to Spanish, she is ready to be sent to the Buenos Aires branch of the whisky firm for which she works. Traveling first class she improves her time by learning French with young diplomat, Lerin, and by researching the preferences of Sir Anthony Slowdon, an English-Spanish member of the Argentine cattle aristocracy. Doors open to her in Buenos Aires; she refuses Lerin; she gets to know Don Antonio better when she visits his estancia on the pampa; when she loses her job she becomes his secretary-companion and learns to understand the secret of his early marriage. When she becomes his wife, his death leaves her a wealthy widow and she determines to locate and make restitution to the son he had repudiated. In Vienna she finds instead a grandson, Toni, who is a promising painter, falls in love with him, flees with him, after Hitler's invasion, to England...and, marrying him, still retains her title of Lady Slowdon. Roberts views his heroine with a kindly eye, fills in economic, social and then- current events, and concocts his story with serene assurance.