Another of Hodge's restless female heroines (Polonaise, Secret Island, etc.) is, again, nearly extinguished by the dismal and deadly double-standard of England's late-18th century. Young Kathryn Pennam, whose titled mother married poisonous oaf Mr. Morehead--a man who's not only wasted her money but chased housemaids--is in love. Her half-brothers' tutor, Mark Weatherby, returns her love. They plan to marry, in fact, but that plan is nipped in the bud when Morehead, unbeknownst to Kathryn, knocks out Mark and disposes of the body. When last seen, Mark's body is flying over the cliff and into the sea. (As any veteran romance- reader knows, however, no hero is dead until he expires in plain sight.) Then troubles accumulate. Morehouse takes Kathryn's inheritance and assaults her. Finally, she marries (for her mother's sake) a young banker whom she finds agreeable, Thomas Comryn. Thomas, a clumsy and increasingly brutal lover, is at first easy enough--though he's under the thumb of awful Mother Comryn-- but when Mother C. comes the influence of a hellfire preacher, Kathryn is truly abused. Then: the bank fails, Thomas commits suicide, Kathryn posts to the rescue--of bank, child-on-the-way, and her freedom. A packed plot (but with never a feeling of rush) with bad men doing their worst and a good heroine soldiering through. Plus a bonus--a trip through some English canals.