It is 1834. Former runaway Serafina Gavi has grown very close to her godly friend, John Falconer. When her Venetian parents, with whom she now lives in Washington, D.C., declare Falconer an unsuitable match, she tearfully informs him. But after these aristocrats witness the matchless nobility of Falconer's character and his unflinching courage, they ask him how they can possibly repay his kindness. And then a dangerous secret mission takes Falconer far away to a world of glittering gold and elusive emancipation.