內容簡介 Following his dismissal from a draper's shop, where his father had placed him as an apprentice, protagonist Alfred Polly (John Mills) finds it hard to find another position. When a telegram arrives informing him of his father's death, he returns to the family home.With a bequest of 500, Polly considers his future; and a friend of his father's, Mr Johnsen (Edward Chapman), urges him to invest it in a shop - an idea that Polly dislikes. Whilst dawdling in the country on a newly-bought bicycle, Polly has a brief dalliance with a schoolgirl, Christabel (Sally Ann Howes); but later marries one of his cousins, Miriam Larkins (Betty Ann Davies). Fifteen years later, Polly and his wife are running a draper's shop in Fishbourne, and the marriage has descended to incessant arguments and bickering.While walking in the country, Polly decides to commit suicide. He sets his shop ablaze in the hope that the insurance will assure Miriam's prosperity. However, he botches the arson job and, instead of killing himself, rescues an elderly neighbour and becomes a minor local celebrity.Still unhappy, Polly leaves his wife and is hired by a rural innkeeper (Megs Jenkins) as handyman and ferryman; however, he soon realises that the position was only open because the innkeeper's brother-in-law Jim (Finlay Currie) is a drunkard who bullies any other man to leave the inn. Polly clashes with him until the latter accidentally drowns in a weir while chasing Polly. Several years later, Polly returns to Fishbourne to find Miriam operating a tea-shop with her sister in the belief that Polly has drowned, and he returns to his happier life at the inn.