The Yale Club, June, 1898, provides the setting for two chance events that in less than twenty years will make Michael Torey one of the youngest tycoons in America. These events are overhearing two ancient alumni talking about a very undervalued stock, and meeting Plumbridge Vaughn III, a charming young man whom Michael tutored at Yale. Plum introduces the sharp-eyed Michael to the world of the very rich; the stock tip enables him to parlay his modest savings into a sum sufficient to buy a small tool and die works. The hero rapidly climbs the ladder of success when he transfers his headquarters to the city of Pittsburgh. He misses out, however, on happiness--he marries the wrong women, his son is killed, his second wife is crippled, he has an all but fatal heart attack. In the last few pages, Michael belatedly comes to some idea of the raison d'etre of his way of life. This starts off with an ingratiating charm rare in this sort of book, but soon enough lapses into the expected. However, the author can tell a story and just might someday produce a best seller.