The two leads, Anna and Claire, argue over Claire's new found "Love" while Anna's Scottish maid, Catherine, is brought to tears by her employer's harsh verbal rebukes. Things get tense as Anna, a mistress to a wealthy gentleman, tries to talk Claire out of her profession of love for another: a young woman. Claire, on the other hand, has already made plans with her young love to meet at Anna's house in the hopes that she will be able to persuade her new love to engage in a "vile assignation." Things go awry, however, when the girl arrives and recognizes that an emerald necklace that Anna is wearing belongs to her mother.
The plot line focuses on whether Anna and Claire will be able to find a way to hold on to both the girl and her wealthy but unfaithful father. The play is delivered through quick, witty Victorian-era dialogue, mixed with double entendres and vernacular expressions, to explore the relationship between the two women and their maid. Through humor and nuance, the play explores the negotiation, conflict, compromise and reconciliation that arise in their relationship.