Merchant seaman Harry Fothergill arrives in the U.S. with his mate Dickie to visit Dickie's brother and his family. Broke Dickie creates a will leaving a small fortune to Harry and his niece. When Dickie is murdered, Harry is charged.
Sailors Dickie Durham and Harry Fothergill visit Dickie's oil-rich brother, Russell. Dickie is out to make trouble, trying to squeeze money out of Russell and reminding Russell's wife, Crystal, of their affair before her marriage. His niece, Paula, likes him, but he nearly gets into a fight with Paula's boyfriend. When Dickie learns that his own brother would just as soon kill him, he goes to Perry to draw up a will. He leaves huge sums to Harry and Paula but needs Harry to pay Perry's $100 fee. When Dickie goes missing, Russell says he'll pay the $18,000 Dickie wants if Harry will find him and get him to ship out of the country. Harry does find a surly, uncooperative Dickie who walks out on him. The next time we see Dickie, he's a corpse. To defend his client, Perry will have to navigate around shady business arrangements, private scandals, and red herrings. Written by
Oh, you've got that look in your eye again, Dickie.
And the tase of salt water and bilge oil in my mouth. One tankard of ale, old sport. Then we'll get on with our business, huh?
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Many years ago Liam Sullivan a rather footloose and irresponsible spirit left the USA for the life of a vagabond sailor. Now he's back home and not exactly welcome in the home of his brother Ford Rainey, sister-in-law, Anna Lee, and niece Barbara Parkins. It turns out that Sullivan was putting a claim, a quite legitimate claim on the holdings of Rainey and I do mean all his holdings.
But when Sullivan turns up dead on a pier it's his shipmate and bosom buddy Sean McClory who needs the services of Raymond Burr. Investigation by the police turns up McClory's motives. Investigation by William Hopper turns up the real motives and Burr's cross examination turns up the real killer.
All I can say is that Sullivan was standing in the way of many people retaining their money and position. Not a bad story for Perry Mason.
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