Count Casimir Poliatoffsky, part Mayan, part Polish, makes port in New Orleans content to continue his life as a sailor. He is present at a whorehouse shooting and wins the protection of the local political power and on another trip there he succumbs to his love for respectable Helen Moresu and marries her. Marriage and regular work is not the answer to his dreams, his visions, his flamboyance and his yearning to show his ability on roller skates so he teaches skating, tries to put on a show and fails, and, through his connection with the carnival people, has a violent affair with Phlame the Phlame Girl, which completely estranges Helen. A last attempt at skating is a roller skate ballet and when it turns into a farce his mental balance is in danger. But Helen's intervention saves him and he heads again for the sea. New Orleans of pre- and World War I years, of the dockside, the carnival and amusement world, the beginnings of jazz and the wide open red lights is a glaring background for this story of turbulence and turmoil. Publisher's publicity claims much for this -- it may not be that the public will go along.