Rosa Moline has lived her entire life in the little mill town of Loyalton, WI, and hates it like the plague. She's constantly at the train station, watching people leave for Chicago. She's married to a good-hearted doctor, Lewis, who treats patients even if they can't or haven't paid him.
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Lewis hasn't satisfied Rosa's longings for pleasure, big city life and lots of money, so she has an affair with a visiting millionaire from Chicago, Neil Latimer. Their trysts take place at Latimer's hunting cabin near
Latimer's vacation ends and he returns to Chicago. Rosa schemes to visit him. She hounds Lewis into collecting outstanding accounts and uses the money to get to Chicago, lying to Lewis that she's going to buy a new wardrobe. Ironically, she's out of place even in Chicago. When she meets up with Latimer, he rebuffs her by telling her he's going to marry and that the girl, unlike Rosa, is unsullied. Humiliated, Rosa returns home and submits quietly to the ever-kind Lewis.
It turns out that Rosa's gotten pregnant. Lewis looks forward to the child, believing it will settle Rosa and improve their relationship. Unfortunately, Latimer shows up again at a party given by Moose, caretaker of his hunting cabin and friend of the Molines. Latimer now tells Rosa he's
broken off his engagement and wants her in Chicago with him. Rosa is more than ready, but Moose has heard everything and confronts Rosa alone, threatening to tell Latimer of her pregnancy if she quits Lewis. There's a hunting party the next day and Rosa shoots Moose dead, claiming it was an
accident. She gets away with it but then is overheard talking to Latimer by her husband. He's willing to let her go on one condition--she has to have the baby first. Rosa tries to abort the baby through various means. She succeeds, but never makes it to the train. Note for film buffs: Bette Davis as Rosa says the famous line, "what a dump," which is what the Elizabeth Taylor character in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" tries to imitate.