John Hand visits the Heron house looking for a summer job. What he finds is a family in mourning. A few minutes after he is hired by Mrs. Heron and her daughter, Virginia, a neighbor, Buddy, finds Mr. Heron lying dead in the orchard, choked to death by asthma and bee stings. As Buddy comforts the grieving family, John feels out of place. But as he begins to suspect that Buddy knows more about Mr. Heron’s death than he’s letting on, he goes to the only person who can help: his uncle, Professor Homer Kelly.