• A newspaper clipping tells briefly of the murder of Mary Turner.
• The narrative tells of how Tony Marston, who will be managing the Turner farm, discovers the body and notifies his employer, Charlie Slatter.
• Marston notes the hatred Slatter and the police Sergeant have for Mary.
• Moses, the house servant, is arrested for the murder.
• Tony, unable to figure out the details of the killing and disturbed by the affair, washes his hands of it and starts a new life as an office worker.
• Narration shifts back in time, describing Mary's unhappy childhood in Rhodesia with an alcoholic father and a miserable mother.
• Mary lives her early adult life in happy independence, enjoying an active social life; however, Mary does not pursue romantic relationships with men.
• After her thirtieth birthday, Mary overhears her friends talking about how Mary needs to find a husband, and how she...
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