Native Londoner Willie Smith, one of three brothers, was a chronic truant in his childhood in fighting what seemed to be his fate, one in his mind worse than death, to follow in his father's footsteps in becoming a postal clerk. He now travels the world moving from one odd job after another - the current being as a tobacconist's assistant in Cape Town, South Africa earning £2/week - spinning in his letters home about how well he is doing professionally. Although he tells few people in not wanting to jinx his future, to what he truly aspires is to be a playwright. In that job at the tobacco shop, he meets Mary Blayne, the daughter of a British admiral, she who hated life in South Africa until she met Willie as the two fall in love, despite she already being engaged to well-off Jimmy back home. In discovering Willie in Mary's life, Jeffrey, a Blayne family friend in South Africa, conspires in alliance with her parents to break up their relationship for Mary to realize her own fate in marrying Jimmy. The question then becomes if Willie and Mary's love can overcome what others have decided for their respective futures, that love on Willie's part despite he not wanting her to sacrifice her life for "£2/week".