Amanda Afflick, a laundress with a romantic imagination, weaves a story about a shirt brought to the laundry eight months earlier by Horace Greensmith. She tells her fellow workers that the shirt belongs to her fiancé, Sir Horace, to whom her father objected and expelled from their castle, but who will one day return. While waiting for her lord, Amanda saves Lavender, the old laundry horse, from the glue factory and takes her home with her but is ousted the following morning by indignant tenants. Luckily, Lady Burke, a philanthropist, comes to Lavender's aid by providing her a home on the Burke country estate. Although the laundry driver Ben Pillsbury pines for Amanda, she ignores him, preferring to wait instead for Lord Horace. When Greensmith finally arrives for his shirt, Amanda pleads with him to pretend that he is her lover and he agrees, but later, realizing how shabby she looks, he discards her. He leaves Amanda, her romantic dreams shattered, sobbing, while Ben waits outside the laundry, disconsolate.