An agreeably cheerful adventure gothic in which the queenpin of all similar sagas--the orphaned governess--gets her lumps and her man in Brazil. After months of invective from the mother of her royal Braganza charges, Adelaide is sent from London to Brazil to place the children in the care of their uncle Dom Martin. There's a shipwreck, a trek through the wilderness, and an abrupt dismissal by Dom Martin. But Adelaide and Dom Martin fall in love and escape his mad brother Duarte. When all the family skeletons are de-closeted and Duarte is put down, Adelaide marries Martin, this ""brave twinkly proper man. . . who makes her laugh."" He is and he does--a rarity in this genre.