The main character, Dick Shelton, is a young man who needs to learn to grow up quickly. After the murder of his father, Dick is placed under the protection of Sir Daniel, who is an evil character with few redeeming qualities.
Dick matures during the story. One example of this is his initial hatred for women, which is changed when he meets Joana, who has disguised herself as a boy.
Dick can act impetuously and selfishly, but tries to redeem himself.