A blithe pursuit begins in Ecuador when, at the death of his father and the promise of an inheritance cached in the chimney of an English manor, Claudio Howard-Wolferstan goes to Moreton Intrinseca and finds that it is now a top security hostel for some British scientists, among them the delectable Dr. Cornelia. Caught there without his clothes, Howard-Wolfers is jailed and sentenced for an irresponsible youthful record as a communist (at Oxford), and believed to be a spy. Escaping from the magistrate's court, a cathedral offers more than one kind of sanctuary and subsistence on port and wafers. Off and away, as the alert becomes widespread, he is picked up by some ""comrades"" and smuggled aboard ship to Riga. Escaping back to England as a Spanish seaman, he doffs many disguises- that of a chimney sweep, a Sikh, a minstrel- until a return to the Manor brings him the jewels, and Cornelia, and exposure.... One of the lighter hotfoots, this proceeds with enterprise as well as effrontery, clowns and charms its way through some moments of disbelief.