• Ethan Frome walks to town to escort his wife's cousin, Mattie Silver, home from a dance.
• Mattie has come to live with Ethan and his wife, Zeena, because Zeena claims to be ill and needs household help.
• While Ethan walks to town, he recalls his brief studies in Engineering before he was drawn home by the illness of his parents.
• Mattie's presence is a welcome change from the routine of Ethan's life.
• However, the trip this night to the church brings him a dose of reality.
• He sees Mattie smiling and laughing with another man in ways he thought she reserved for him.
• Earlier, Zeena had mentioned her expectation that Mattie would marry soon, leaving her without household help.
• Ethan doesn't realize that his wife Zeena has been picking up on the changes in him and noticing the excuses he makes to spend time with Mattie...
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