One day, the impoverished but kind Angela receives a visit from the successor to a neighboring Earl, Lord Daventry. Hiding a terrible war wound with a mask, Lord Daventry avoids the public eye. He is feared by the people of the village, who believe he practices black magic. "What business could Lord Daventry have with me?" On her guard, Angela asks the reason for his visit, and Lord Daventry opens his dour mouth and abruptly proposes marriage. His grandfather's death is imminent, and to make him happy, Lord Daventry proposes a fictional engagement. Not realizing that her heart is drawn to this closed-off man, Angela accepts.