Paul Bard, fleeing Russian occupied Hungary with twelve dead geese has only the money from their sale in the black market to live on in Paris where he dreams life will be romantic, successful and filled with delights. Reality is different, he cannot get a work permit but he makes a kind of living from typing and he achieves a quick notoriety when he spends a night with Mme. La Baronne and she stages a demonstration against her landlord. His Aunt Caroline arrives with her two sons and Paul is caught up in a life of adapting to his relatives' quick changes of behavior as money gets scarcer and their domestic arrangements become more complicated. The Baroness flits in and out, Paul's rooming house is evacuated over the affair of the toilets, he finishes the book he is writing, and, with its acceptance by a publisher, he determines to go to America. But Aunt Caroline's farewell party uses up all his money and he is back at the rooming house -- with the last of the money from the geese. A farrago of incidents in which living with poverty is accomplished with some elegance, spirits are volatile, behavior chameleon and farce accompanies a youthful adventuring.