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Penelope "Nep" Newbold is the kind of beautiful young woman that men fight over. Having already been divorced once, Nep is cynical about love, and convinced that "no one man can have all the virtues," she is determined to marry one "virtue" at a time. When her father Alfred entertains renowned Viennese physician, Dr. Karl Bemis, Nep flippantly declares all doctors to be boring and homely. She is pleasantly surprised to discover, however, that Karl is neither. One night while Nep is in a jealous rage after seeing her athlete lover, Bill Hanaway, flirt with his former girl friend, Sue Folsom, Nep finds her maid, Delia, trying to commit suicide. Nep calls on Karl for help, who kindly takes the pregnant Delia to stay in one of his sanitariums. After Nep breaks up with Bill, she and Karl fall in love, even though she, herself, warns him against her. They impulsively decide to marry one night, but Bill shows up and convinces Nep to marry him instead. Nep's marriage to Bill is an unhappy one: Bill lives off her money and spends most of it on Sue. On a cruise, Bill becomes jealous of Karl, who has become reacquainted with Nep, but during an argument, Bill collapses. Karl warns him that he has suffered a heart attack and must live temperately if he is to live at all, but the suspicious Bill ignores his advice. After Nep rejects him, Bill joins Sue in her cabin, where he collapses and dies. To prevent a scandal, Nep pretends that she and Karl were with them when Bill died. Ten months later, Nep is working as a nurse for Karl, but finally, he "promotes" her to the position of his wife.