Anton Juhl leaves Denmark for a better life in Iowa, USA. Before that better life begins, he finds himself a doughboy in France, where his best friend, George Froman is killed. After the Armistice, Anton pays a condolence call on George's mother.
George had been a Watkins Man before he enlisted, and Anton believes his own pursuit of the American Dream might be in the same calling--that of a Watkins traveling salesman.
The story follows Anton through rural and small town Iowa as he disarms vicious watchdogs, pitches in to help with farm chores, cooks for the sick, listens to the lonely, and searches for happiness and love.
Anton becomes involved in the discovery of a murder victim. The ensuing trial allows him to see more of Elise, a legal secretary. But their relationship falters when a prime witness turns out to be a young female Anton has befriended.
Anton's salesmanship brings him true love and the promise of a bright future as a Watkins Man., that icon of American enterprise.