Upon his arrival at Random Hall, Charles learns that his father has recently died. Charles meets with assorted brothers and sisters gathered for the funeral and tells them of his loss of memory - before awakening after the accident in Liverpool he remembers nothing but a shellhole in France, three years ago. All he found in his pockets was a little money...and a house key. A key to those lost years, perhaps, but as to what those years may have held, Charles is at a loss.
Charles takes over the family business. Seven years pass - Charles is a tremendous success as a financial wizard, dubbed the "Industrial Prince of England" by the newspapers. Inside he remains numb, detached from his daily business dealings, yet putting up a front of professional geniality.
He is also pursued by a young niece-by-marriage, Kitty (Susan Peters), who fell for him the day she met him upon his return 'from darkest amnesia'.
Dining with Kitty one day, Charles suddenly hears a man's voice from a nearby table that seems familiar to him - it is Dr. Jonathan Benet, the psychiatrist who treated him at the Melbridge County Asylum - but as often before the wisp of a memory slips away before Charles can get ahold of it.
Troubled by the elusive memory, Charles returns to his office and sits fingering the house key he has kept with him, then summons his secretary, Margaret Hanson. When Margaret enters...she is Paula.
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