Sam Bogardus is the law partner of his former lover, though the relationship is now platonic. Bored, he takes on elegant Jennifer Davies as a client. She has fallen heir to an ancient, valuable document belonging to her father, which surfaced 33 years after he mysteriously disappeared in a 1942 Navy blimp crash. When Bogardus discovers the literary legacy is probably an excerpt from lost diaries of 16th century explorer Sir Francis Drake, word of the find leaks out and the net closes on Davies and Bogardus. Willing to kidnap, maim and kill to possess the papers, his covetous adversaries unwittingly lead the counselor to San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst's castle, where he unearths a startling wartime black-market scandal.