The narrator is an Irish Orphan named Dervla O'Shannon. She lives her young life out at a home for foundling girls. As part of their daily lives the foundlings are forced to make "entertainment calls" to Saint Clement's Home for old soldiers where she strikes up an improbable courtship with Corporal Slack, a malcontent and veteran of WW1. They plan their escape from both of their less than enjoyable institutions. A very enjoyable read, with the indellible mark and brogue of the the old Ireland told with a picaresque and poetic sigh.