Dashing Selby Harle, Lord Harlestone, has a reputation in London as a 'ladies man' and at the instigation of the influential Princess of Wales is all but blackmailed into marrying a Society beauty he does not like let alone love.
And so he decides to escape to America, where he has invested some of his fortune in cattle ranching.
In the wilds of Colorado, where the gold and minerals rush is at fever pitch, even this man of the world is shocked by the brazen houses of pleasure in Denver where 'madams' shamelessly ply their trade.
He is even more appalled when a gang of rough cowboys arrive at one such house with a helpless young waif offering her for sale, who has just lost her mother and father to the Red Indians.
The girl's name, they say, is Nelda Harle. Could this be the daughter of his estranged cousin, 'Handsome Harry', a notorious gambler and 'card sharp'?
Selby feels duty bound to 'purchase' the girl for her own protection and proposes to send her safely home to England as soon as he returns to New York from his associate's Denver Ranch.
Nelda turns out to be a glorious beauty of eighteen and even more stunning when dressed in fashionable gowns.
Fate and love intervene when Arapaho Indians attack the wagon train she is travelling in and Nelda bravely saves Lord Harlestone's life.
And he comes to realise that there is so much more to this young beauty than meets the eye.