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Violet Smith, who is an ardent cyclist, consults Holmes because she is being stalked on the road to her employer's house by a strange bearded man who also rides a bicycle and who shadows her every move.
The circumstances of Miss Smith's employment are also extremely odd; she is being paid the large sum of 100 pounds per annum to teach music to the daughter of Mr. Carruthers, late of South Africa. Also from that country is Mr. Woodley, a nasty piece of goods who sexually molests Violet one evening after supper, and it is only the intervention of Mr. Carruthers which saves her.
Holmes finds the case interesting, and sets out to find who the man is who is shadowing Miss Smith on her bicycle. He finds a much more sinister and shadowy plot involving a fortune in money behind what appears to be a simple story.