In 1848, a young French woman goes to New York to see the grandfather of her fiance. He had been with Napoleon and may be sympathetic to the political aims of his grandson. She finds the old man in bad spirits, living in a large house with a housekeeper and a butler who are just waiting for him to die (and perhaps helping him along a bit) so they can inherit his fortune. They see her as a threat to their plans. She is aided in her dealings with these strange people by a mysterious man in a cloak.
Duke Johnson appears as the juggler.