Sir Duncan Craggs retires from the Colonial Service and returns to London with his new French wife. The couple are devoted to each other, but continually flirt with other people. Sir Duncan is appointed to the board of clothing retail chain. On his tour of inspection, he encounters a successful store run by the efficient Mr. Bullock. By contrast, a neighbouring shop is filled with unhelpful staff overseen by an incompetent and lazy manager, Raymond Penny, who is more interested in horseracing than running his shop. Craggs is unimpressed by Penny and summons him to a meeting in London. Both Bullock and his domineering wife travel up to London as well, fearing that Penny will tell Craggs malicious stories about them.