William Marble, a bank clerk living in London just after the end of World War I, is down on his luck and deep in debt. Without warning his nephew, Jim Medland, recently orphaned but having just come into a large inheritance, decides to visit one evening. When he produces his wallet to look for something, William sees that he has a considerable amount of money on him, but Jim does not intend to give or even lend him any. Unable to resist the temptation, and knowing that the younger man will not be easily traced if he disappears, William asks his wife Annie to go to bed early so they can talk business, slips poison in Jim's drink, and buries him in the garden under cover of darkness.
After some profitable speculation on the stock markets he wins enough to keep him and his family very comfortable for the rest of their lives, but more than anything else the extravagant Annie desperately wants to move to a better house. If they do, he knows, his dreadful secret will surely be exposed. Though their lifestyle rapidly changes for the better, William's relationship with Annie, their son John and daughter Winnie all suffer. Annie eventually realises with horror what he has done, he takes to the bottle and falls under the sway of a scheming gold digger, as the family grimly falls apart. In the end, ironically, in trying to keep his crime covered up, he is accused of something far worse, though in reality he is innocent.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste