After being honored by the British government for saving the H.M.S. Arabella, Capt. Horatio Ambrose (Alec Guinness) relates the real adventure of the rescue to a reporter (Harry Locke). Although descended from a long line of sea-going captains with a reputation for braveness, Ambrose confesses to a personal, inherited secret that undercuts the family tradition. Further, while drunk, Ambrose details that the salvation of the Arabella was not exactly a seafaring struggle.