Bret Winthrop, working on chemical research into forestry in Western Canada, was too absorbed in the ramifications of his work to give much thought to anything else. Marriage was stultifying; he had to have freedom to experiment, no ties that would draw him back to the house at stated times, and certainly no 'little woman' fretting herself silly on the edge of his existence. Life was extraordinarily simple and uncluttered if one excluded women. So he had little use for Loraine Farnle, a pale, slender English girl on a foolishly quixotic mission -- to find her brother's widow and small son. Yet somehow Bret was impelled to help her -- and to go on helping her.