Paul Grabbe, whose father was an aide to the last tsar, describes a privileged childhood in St. Petersburg where, at fifteen, he witnesses the beginning of the Russian Revolution. The Grabbe family seeks refuge in Southern Russia and narrowly escapes from the Bolsheviks. In Part II, safe in Denmark, Paul rescues the hand of St. John the Baptist for the Dowager Empress of Russia and falls in love with a fellow refugee, beautiful Veta Bezobrasov. When Veta marries a rich Dane, Paul leaves for the United States. In Part III, he pursues the “American Dream,” slowly realizing the difference between immigration and exile.