The Earl of Cariston is faced with insurmountable problems and has completely run out of money. He has sold everything on his estate that he can, but even so there is nothing he can do to support those who rely on him, and they are on the verge of starvation. In desperation he calls at his club to find an old friend, Lord Shield, and tells him his woes. Lord Shield is in a bad way himself, but does suggest that he visit a certain Mr. Randon, who is temporarily in London and beg for his help. Mr. Randon has made a fortune in America and used to be a good friend of the earl?s father. The earl finds Mr. Randon, who is very ill and on the verge of dying. Mr. Randon makes him a most extraordinary proposition: If he will marry his daughter, Kristina, the next morning, the earl will receive a large sum to rescue his estate. Read how the earl and Kristina manage to cope with their joint predicament of marrying a stranger.