In 1926 Theophilus North, 29 years old, leaves his four years employment at a New Jersey school and goes to Newport, Rhode Island, to buy a car that a friend sold him. He has no idea what to do next in his life. Arrived in the city, he decides to remain there. He tries to get an income giving private lessons and as a reader for $2.00 per hour, but soon his ability in solving problems helps him being introduced in Newport's high society.
The novel is written using the first person, in fact the fictional author declares it is an abstract of a journal. However, a great part of the novel is made of dialogues between North and other characters.
There are fifteen chapters, each one treating a different episode where Theophilus North is involved.