The story opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm. Then, without warning, Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshireman, takes his place on the board of Barringtons. Hardcastle’s first decision is who to support to become the next chairman of the board: Emma Clifton or Major Alex Fisher?