Kate Mannering, a lady’s companion, is kidnapped by a masked highwayman when he mistakes her for her employer. But after she hears Nicholas Seyton's story, she becomes eager to help him recover his stolen birthright. She is soon embroiled in danger from smugglers and a would-be seducer—and constantly annoyed by Sir Harry Tate, a guest at the home of her employer, who insults her at every opportunity but also rescues her from every danger that threatens—when she cannot rescue herself, that is. She is bewildered and alarmed when she finds herself falling for both the dashing highwayman and the indolent guest, vastly different though they are. It certainly does not occur to her that they are one and the same man.