The year is nineteen fifty-three. In Chicago for a sales-meeting, twenty-nine year old Midwestern Sales Representative Dan Reade is standing at the street entrance to the Palmer House Hotel admiring his brand new Buick Super convertible which is now being driven away to the hotel garage. Listening to the purr of its powerful V-8 engine momentarily transfixes him to the spot where he is standing.
Almost immediately the spell is broken as the space just vacated by his car is occupied by another, a Mercedes Cabriolet Model "A." His car is nice but it is not a Mercedes. He wistfully looks the car over. The girl getting out of the Mercedes immediately draws his interest from the car.
'Her name must be Mercedes,' he thinks because she, like the car, looks like a gorgeous expensive model. Their eyes meet and hold briefly after she has taken off her sunglasses. They both look each other over. He likes what he sees but, with resignation, turns to walk up the steps to the lobby. "Way out of my class!" he tells himself as he starts up the steps to register in.
He sees her again several times inside the hotel and, finally the next day, while both are in the elevator, he initiates conversation by telling her how much he admires her car. He then notices the very large diamond engagement ring she is wearing. His increasing thoughts that perhaps he might get to know her better are quashed. In addition to everything else, he is not overly aggressive and does not consider engaged girls to be fair game for pursuit.
They meet again later as they are both leaving the Palmer House at the same time. After a little conversation, while waiting for their cars, they bid goodbye. He follows her down the street until she turns left toward Lake Forest. He turns right and heads for his apartment in Ann Arbor. He doubts that he will ever see her again. Except for her name, which she gave him when they exchanged names in the elevator, he knows absolutely nothing about her.
Feeling rather low he, fortunately, has a job to go to. The next day he is due to be up in Gaylord, Michigan to make a sales call with one of his dealers. One drawback, severe storms, possibly even tornadoes are forecast for the area.
The next evening, nearing his destination, he is forced to follow a detour during the storm. He gets lost on one of Michigan's back dirt roads. To add to his difficulties he runs out of gas. Fortunately, he is near a cottage where, upon his knock, an attractive young woman holding a shotgun cautiously peers out of the chain locked door------