The book follows the travails of Margaret Hill, whose singing ability attracts Al Levering. He rescues her from the notorious dive in which she is performing and pays for her musical education. Just as she is about to join an opera company, Levering is arrested for embezzlement and Margaret, out of gratitude, promises to marry him when he is released. Later, Margaret meets and falls in love with nobleman John Ordham. Separated during a shipwreck, the two lose track of each other and five years pass, during which time Margaret has become a famous opera star. Discovering Margaret while attending one of her performances, Ordham breaks his engagement to Mabel Cutting and plans to marry the singer. In the meantime, Levering escapes from prison and arrives at Margaret's house.