Devastatingly handsome Sebastian, Marquis of Farndon, awaits a lady, a present from his best friend, Stephen, for his thirtieth birthday.
Alicia Lambert, fleeing from a forced marriage, is shown into his room by mistake. Inebriated from celebrating his return to England, Sebastian disbelieves her protests and is reluctant to let her escape.
Edward, Earl of Chalcombe, walking home, is attacked by footpads. He attempts to defend himself but is bludgeoned to the ground. Death seems inevitable when a fat ugly man carrying a stick and a beautiful slender young lady appeared.
The young lady stumbles and picks up his dropped foil, dispatching one footpad and injuring another. The fat man belabours a third with his stick.