Lucy Entwhistle's beloved father has just died; aged 22 she finds herself alone in the world. Leaning against her garden gate, dazed and unhappy, she is disturbed by the sudden appearance of the perspiring Mr Wemyss. This middle-aged man is also in mourning - for his wife Vera, who has died in mysterious circumstances. Before Lucy can collect herself, Mr Wemyss has taken charge: of the funeral arrangements, or her kind aunt Dot, but most of all of Lucy herself - body and soul.
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