Battle-axe Emma Hornett dominates her hen-pecked husband Henry, his meek sister Edie and daughter Shirley. Shirley is to marry young sailor Albert,raised in an orphanage,and he and best man Carnoustie stay with the Hornetts on the eve of the wedding, though Emma makes sure the stag night is a brief one. Next day Albert fails to show up for the wedding. He eventually turns up at the house and confides in the vicar that if family life is anything like the Hornetts he wants no part of it. When the Hornetts are told this Emma declares that she sees that has been a "very wicked woman" and will mend her ways but, as the young couple eventually marry and move into their own house , one wonders how long her change of heart will last.