The Welby’s have budgeted all their lives and are just about ready to retire comfortably well-off when their extremely wealthy uncles dies and leaves them all his money. They abandon their snug and paid for suburban house for an apartment in London more befitting their station — and they’re throwing away money hand over fist to climb the social ladder. Then the rug is pulled out from under them: with the coming of the war, themines on which their fortune was based have vanished. They have not a penny in the world.
Homeless and destitute, things look bleak indeed when their old housekeeper finds them. She’d amassed a nest-egg of her own and bought the Welby house when they left it. She also bought the neighboring two houses, connected the three together, and now operates them as a hotel. She employees the Welbies and gives them a place to stay. She’s bitten off more than she can chew, she tells them, and wants to scale back the operation. Would they like their house back?
Inscription: on the front flyleaf, “Emily E. Patterson”.