• Guy Haines is traveling on a train to Metcalf, Texas to see his wife Miriam. An increasingly successful architect, he hopes his wife's recent pregnancy from another lover will speed up their divorce process so he can marry his Anne.
• A man called Charles Anthony Bruno engages Guy in a conversation. He is traveling from New York to El Paso for a holiday with his mother. He tells Guy he is from a wealthy family, but his father refuses to release any of his money to him because he considers him, a college drop out, a lazy good for enough. Charles admits he wants the money to live an easy life.
• After Bruno admits he feels like murdering his father sometimes, Guy confides about his problems with his wife and her infidelities. This leads to Bruno talking about the perfect murder, and that perhaps Guy...
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