The Enterprise arrives in New Orleans and unloads its cargo. An attractive Cajun woman, Marie Tourette, drives down to the docks on her carriage and Bill and Carney immediately notice her. She waves to Grey, standing behind them, and the intrigued captain goes down to meet the woman he's never met. As he talks with her, a young Cajun man, Sebastian, watches them.
Marie talks to Grey as if they know each other, although he doesn't recognize her, and calls him Gabriel. Interested, he goes with her in her carriage and Marie says that she's taking him home. They drive out into the swamps and Marie pulls over, and then kisses Grey. She talks about how they've been together forever and always will be, further puzzling the captain, and then they continue on while Sebastian follows behind them.
When they arrive in Marie's village, Marie's parents Elois and Anna welcome Marie and Grey, and also act as if he's a Gabriel Roget. As they go into the Tourette home, Grey assumes that they're playing some kind of joke. Marie's grandparent, Grandma Jo, comes in with two small children and they also treat Grey as if he's Gabriel. When the young women of the village come in, Marie talks about how she saw "Gabriel" arrive at the docks and brought him there, and they all nod knowingly. Sebastian arrives and Marie spots him going by, and drags him into the house. He also calls Grey Gabriel and welcomes him back, but then quickly leaves.
Grey asks Marie to let him talk to her parents alone. Once she agrees, Grey says that he's leaving but they ask him to stay, explaining that it would be a kindness to Marie. Anna goes off to prepare a welcome-home feast for "Gabriel," while Elois admits that they all know that Grey isn't Gabriel... except for Marie. When Grey says he's leaving, Elois warns him that he will stay no matter what.
Marie returns and leads Gabriel off to show him a surprise. Meanwhile, Sebastian storms in and confront Elois. He warns Elois the older man that he can't keep Grey there forever, but Elois says that he'll do what he has to for his daughter. He accuses Sebastian of jealousy, but Sebastian insists that Grey is no solution to Marie's problem. Sebastian begs the Tourettes to send Grey away but they refuse, and the young man insists that he won't help in the deception. Anna sympathetically says that she knows Sebastian loves Marie but that Marie's heart is what matters.
Marie takes Grey to the village piers and introduces him to her old friend, Papite Roget. He congratulates her on getting Gabriel back and Marie tells him that he should be happy that his brother is back. Grey, knowing the truth, tells Papite to tell Marie who he really is. However, Papite removes his mourning armband and welcomes "Gabriel" back.
That night, the villagers celebrate Grey's return and Grandma Jo tells the children ghost stories. She then gives some magic dust to Marie, who throws it on Grey and says that now he is hers forever. They kiss and then Grey tries to get through to Marie, asking who he really is. She insists that he is the man she loves and Grey holds her tight, but says that he can't stay for either one of them. Once Marie dozes off, Grey takes her to the Tourette house and warns Elois that one day his daughter will realize the truth and it will be a tragedy for everyone. Elois is happy that his daughter is happy and tells Grey to go to Papite's house to sleep.
Grey goes to Papite's house and finds the sailor waiting for him with a gun. He escorts Grey inside and insists that Grey must be suffering from amnesia and forgotten that he's Gabriel. Papite tells Grey about Gabriel's past, explaining that he was the pride of the village, and left for Arcadia to negotiate on behalf of the village. There was only enough money for Gabriel to go but not Marie, and Gabriel left on a riverboat, the Comet. Grey remembers that the Comet exploded a year ago, going down with all hands, but Papite insists that Gabriel must have survived with amnesia, and finally made his way back to his home. Grey warns his "brother" that the illusion can't last, and that the villagers are trying to make up for their guilt at having sent Gabriel away. Papite refuses to let Marie suffer the loss of her loved one again and warns Grey that the villagers wont let him go. After telling Grey that Marie's happiness is the only thing that matters, he goes to bed.
As dawn approaches, Grey sneaks out of the cabin and tries to make his way out of town. However, Sebastian attacks him from behind and knocks him down. He takes Grey back to Papite's cabin and explains what happened. He admits that he wanted to let Grey go, but that he finally brought him back for Marie's sake. Marie comes in and sees Grey unconscious, and Sebastian and Papite claim that he had too much to drink and fell down, knocking himself out. When Sebastian points out that it isn't good for Marie to be a woman who hovers over her man, she dismisses his concern, saying that he doesn't know anything about woman. She advises him to find a woman who loves him as much as Gabriel loves her.
After Papite takes Marie to Grandma Jo, Grey wakes up and Sebastian offers him a drink. He explains that he stopped Grey from running and advises him to do everything that Gabriel would do if he were still alive. The Cajun informs Grey that Father Paul will marry the couple and Grey realizes that Sebastian is in love with her. When the captain suggests that he fight for the woman he loves, Sebastian says that he can't fight a ghost.
In New Orleans, Bill and Carney wonder where Grey has disappeared to after two days. Bill figures that Grey is out looking for cargo and tells Carney to mind his business, but then worries about his partner.
In the village, Grey watches as the young women help Marie prepare her wedding gown. Papite comes over and Grey says that he'd stop them if he could, and that no one is happy. The Cajun sailor says that the day is for Gabriel and takes Grey to the pier to show him the honeymoon boat that Gabriel had prepared before he left. Papite offers to show Grey how to put up the flags indicating that the newlyweds are on their honeymoon, and Grey threatens to sail away with Marie rather than return to imprisonment. Anna, overhearing him, asks how Grey can be so cruel and he tells her that she and the other villagers are the ones being cruel to Marie.
Anna talks to Grey privately and tries to convince him that Marie is the perfect wife for him. Grey admits that the woman would be easy to love, but that she loves a ghost rather than him. Anna insists that Grey is a good man and that he's the only one who has ever made Marie happy since Gabriel's death. However, Grey warns Anna that one day Marie will realize the truth and suffer for it.
Bill finally goes to get some cargo for the Enterprise and cancels Carney's shore leave. When Carney wonders when they'll leave, Bill says that it will depend on whether Grey gets there before they have a full load.
Grey goes to the church and Marie approaches him outside. She asks for a kiss and he gives her one on the forehead, and she wonders why he's so sad. Grey tells her that he's reserved, not sad, and goes inside. Father Paul is out and Elois comes in to tell Grey that the priest came to the village after Gabriel died. As far as Father Paul knows, everything is exactly what the villagers have told him. When Grey points out that there have been no announcements and preparation, Elois assures him that Gabriel took care of everything before he left and that the wedding will happen the next day.
Once Elois leaves, Father Paul comes in and Grey tells him the entire story. The priest is furious at the angry charade and prepares to confront the villagers about their deception. However, Grey gets an idea and says that he knows of a way for Marie to save herself. Father Paul assumes that God sent Grey there for a reason and agrees, and Grey hopes that they'll get a miracle.
As the wedding approaches, Grey dons Gabriel's clothing and goes to find Sebastian. He insists that the Cajun serve as his best man and refuses to hear otherwise. He then sends Sebastian ahead with flowers to the Tourette house as Anna and the village girls help Marie prepare. As Sebastian comes in, Grey storms in behind him, pretending to be drunk, and forces himself on Marie. Shocked, Marie tells him to let go and insists that her Gabriel isn't the gentle man he was. When Grey persists, Marie finally accepts that Gabriel is dead. The captain tells her parents that they will have to take care of Marie from now on and leaves as Sebastian goes to Marie.
Later, Marie and Sebastian drive Grey to the docks and promise not to forget him. Grey assures Marie that he'll never forget her and goes aboard. Carney tries to work out how Grey left with a beautiful woman and came back with her and her boyfriend, and walks off. Bill asks Grey if he'd like to explain what happened and his partner says that he will... someday.