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The complex plot begins with the passionate desire of a doctor to found a hospital for medical research, which is thwarted by the Nazi invasion, in which he loses his notes and all his money. In later years, this leads to him being tempted for money (in order to found the hospital) to murder a patient at the instigation of the man's much younger and faithless wife ('the Temptress'), Lady Clifford. He nearly murders the man's son as well but is prevented at the last moment, and then commits suicide with an overdose of his miracle drug in order to avoid arrest. The 'temptress' who was behind it all is a classic example of the wicked, passionate, self-centred woman addicted to gambling and luxury, and at the end she is left trembling with terror at the justice which awaits her, while a happy young couple of the sub-plot look forward to their marital bliss.