To be in Paris to witness the construction of the Eiffel Tower is a magnificent occasion: to have a hand, however small, in its building, even better. Jamie Arrol, the nephew of a successful Scottish engineer, talks himself into an apprenticeship. His sister, Alice, and their chaperone, Caitriona Wallace, travel with him, for it is just possible that -Alice might find an acceptable husband in the City of Light. And what of Cait, a widow only too happy to escape penury and the gloom of Scotland for a while? It is she who finds something fleetingly beautiful, a love that in the end must be left behind.