The lady vanishes--right in the middle of a performance. She's Alice, the girl in a ""golden crucible""--the sister/assistant of magician Salvador. He hires London's Inspector Lintott (of Miss Stubbs' other embossed entertainments which had more going on by far) to find her--Alice is obviously in the unclean hands of a man called Fleischer, ""Cathouse King of the Upper Tenderloin"" and secretary to a gold mine heir. Lintott travels from London to San Francisco to find her before it too disappears--in the fire of 1906. And the perfumed wax on the mustache melts.