Unbearably alone since his wife Vera's recent and mysterious death, Everand Wemyss is irresistibly drawn to Lucy, a young woman left vulnerable after the death of her father. Taking charge of the funeral for Lucy and her spinster Aunt Dot, Wemyss begins to commandeer Lucy herself - body and soul. Soon Lucy believes herself in love, and Wemyss is obsessed with the idea of making her his wife. Virile, well-to-do, sensual, Wemyss should be a catch, but Aunt Dot senses disturbing qualities in him...
he was Wemyss.
'You are Wemyss,' she repeated gravely.
It made no impression on her. She didn't mind his being Wemyss.
'I'm the Wemyss the newspapers were full of last week,' he said, seeing that the name left her unmoved. 'My God,' he went on, again wiping his forehead, but as fast as he wiped it more beads burst out, 'those posters to see one's own name staring at one everywhere on posters!'
'Why was your name on posters?' said Lucy.
She didn't want to know; she asked mechanically, her ear attentive only to the sounds from the open windows of the room upstairs.
'Don't you read newspapers here?' was his answer.
'I don't think we do,' she said, listening. 'We've been settling in. I don't think we've remembered to order any newspapers yet.'
A look of some, at any rate, relief from the pressure he was evidently struggling under came into Wemyss's face. 'Then I can tell you the real version,' he said, 'without you're being already filled up with the monstr