Charlie Pocock is a vulnerable man. While collecting rents in a London slum, he befriends the ""princess"" Devi, a fifteen year old Indian waif, then ""marries her"" when her parents commit suicide to save her from prostitution. And then after she is raped by a hoodlum, he uses up all of his inheritance to send her away to school for three years. When Devi returns, she is arrogant and selfish and runs away to become a movie star. Charlie tries to snatch a little happiness with another woman, but when Devi comes back, in trouble, he marries her again although he sleeps alone and sees her only a few days out of every few years. At the end Charlie is raising his sister's four children. This wry novel about a little man whose life is destroyed by a loving impulse has an odd, quiet charm. The prose, ordinary yet sparked by Charlie's offbeat expressions, gives the book a reality touched by dreams and it is both funny and sad, a tribute to Beardmore's humor and sympathy.