Caleb has to flee his lodgings when the sixteen-year-old daughter of his landlady propositions to him, and when he tries to let her down gently, the girl threatens to tell her mother that he had his way with her. So Caleb leaves and flees to London. While drowning his sorrows in a pub, Jake runs into him and offers him to stay with him for a while. It is in Jake’s bedsit where Romy finds him. From that moment he and Romy become good friends, but little by little Alec realises that he is in love with her. Yet, so far he hasn’t breathed a word to her because he knows that Romy is too independent and suspects that she doesn’t feel the same.
Apart from that, Romy is now having problems with Johnny Fitgerald, her boss’s lover. Mrs Plummer had discovered that he was having an affair with an Irish woman, so she kicked him out and refused to see him. So one evening Romy is collared by the man in a pub where she is supposed to meet Caleb. Johnny wants her to give Mrs Plummer his letter as she refuses to answer his calls or see him. We know that Romy is opinionated and doesn’t have any qualms in expressing her views, so she does so and tells Johnny what she thinks of him and now she won’t deliver the letter to her boss. Johnny doesn’t like her attitude, and he even grabs her from the arm. Caleb, who has been watching them, decides to intervene, and angry as he is, he hits Johnny and the two men start using their fists against each other. Romy is not happy with Caleb and tells him that she can take care of herself perfectly.
Then a few days later she is shocked to find Johnny coming out of Mrs Plummer’s office. He tells her that they have made up, but he hasn’t forgotten the way he was being treated. It is clear that Johnny might be a problem for her in the future. Before in the novel one of the chamber maids told Romy that Johnny always came back to Mrs Plummer because apparently he is a beneficiary in her will, and in the event of her death he will inherit the hotel. We know that Mirabel Plummer is sick, so if she dies and Johnny takes control of the hotel, Romy might find herself without a job.