An ancient butler, Mr. Buckmaster, devotes his life to keeping up the illusion of his society mistress that things have not changed since 1904, and to maintaining his own discriminating standard of living despite the depleted state of his mistress' finances. When a younger man, also a butler, is discharged and threatens to go to work in a factory, Buckmaster feels obliged to instruct him in the technique of maintaining status-quo by means of fake charities, shop-lifting, and mass swindles. When the young butler falls in love with a beautiful maid, he calls a halt to his nefarious career, but agrees to join Buckmaster in a final debauchery which involves, with the help of a French anarchist and a troop of Boy Scouts, a huge robbery in which R.H. Macy is the victim. All ends well in this urane satire of the 400 and the peripheral members of their world. Ingenious, inventive, deftly maneuvered, this elaborate game provides a relief from the more straight faced fictional treatment of the upper social strata.