Gervase Burton is a born dilettante; and as the son of a rich man he sees no reason why he should join the family firm. Even his engagement to Madeline Thursley does nothing to spark his ambition; and his future father-in-law describes him as having "no backbone".
Gervase does agree to take one business trip on behalf of the firm to the West Indies. As he is returning from that trip, he receives startling news. And now he grows a backbone just when his father-in-law wishes he wouldn't.
This lightweight little novel has one additional surprise at story's end.