Dawn in London, and a milkman delivers to the home of Lord Harry Gormond. Inside, Lord Gormond confronts his 23-year-old son, Tim, as Tim walks toward the door. He demands to know where Tim is going but his son doesn't answer. Lord Gormond offers to go with him but Tim tells him that it isn't possible. His father vows to stop him however he can, but Tim ignores him and walks out. He then goes to the Albert Bridge over the Thames.
McGill is sleeping in his hotel room when he receives a phone call. It's Lord Gormond, who explains that one of McGill's former clients referred him. Gormond wants McGill to find Tim and demands absolute discretion. McGill perks up when Gormond says that he'll pay 1,000 pounds, and then explains that Tim has tried to kill himself before. McGill accepts the case and Gormond tells him that Tim is a bridge-jumper and it's always Albert Bridge.
Once McGill hangs up, Gormond tells his wife Margaret what he's done. She's worried that they don't know anything about McGill, but Gormond assures his wife that he's a professional and will keep their name out of the papers. Margaret wonders if Gormond is just concerned about the publicity, and he insists that he's doing it for Tim.
Tim climbs up on the bridge girders and makes his way up the support. He slips and pulls himself back up, and then keeps going. McGill arrives and calls to him, inviting him down. Tim tells him to mind his own business, and threatens to jump if McGill comes after him. McGill ignores the threat and climbs up after him, telling him that things will work out if he gives it a chance. Tim keeps going and McGill follows him, until Tim slips and falls into the Thames. After a moment, Tim comes to the surface and McGill jumps in and knocks out the struggling man, and then pulls him to shore.
McGill drives Tim home and Tim vows to kill himself the next time. When they get to the Gormond, Margaret wonders why her son is trying to kill himself but he insists that it's his business, nobody else's. Meanwhile, Gormond meets with McGill privately and warns that Tim's suicidal tendencies are trouble for him. He already is paying a psychiatrist for Tim and the doctor has suggested that they commit him, but Gormond refuses. He tells McGill that Tim started partying with a bad crowd a year ago and went out on the bridge as a dare. One of them, Danny Martin, fell in drowned. The inquest found that Danny's death was accidental. McGill isn't interested and demands h is payment, and Gormond offers him another 5,000 pounds to find out what really happened on the bridge. He explains that he's moving into the House of Lords and plans to do serious work, and threatens to make things tough for McGill if he refuses. When McGill points out that he might have to find something that he'd have to tell to the authorities, Gormond says that he'll deny everything and leave McGill hanging out to dry.
In Tim's room, Margaret tries to get through to her son as he composes at his piano. She thinks it's because of the girl, but Tim insists that there is no girl. McGill comes in and Margaret leaves, and McGill admits that he overhead them talking. Once McGill turns his back, Tim slaps him with his belt, punishing the ex-agent for rescuing him. McGill easily knocks him down and throws him in a chair, and demands to know what happened on the morning Danny drowned. Tim says that he killed him and that he knew what he was doing. He describes how they were driving around London when they saw Albert Bridge. Danny dared Tim to climb up with him and Tim finally accepted the challenge. When his friend kept taunting him, Tim finally caught up to him and hit him, knocking him into the river.
Tim found a policeman rather than jump in to rescue his friend, who couldn't swim. McGill points out that the police ruled it an accident, but Tim still blames himself and figures that he has to jump just like Danny did. McGill points out that Tim originally claimed that he pushed Danny, but Tim refuses to discuss it further and advises McGill to collect his fee.
In the study, Margaret begs her husband to talk to Tim, but he doesn't see the point. McGill comes in and tells them what Tim told him. Gormond tells him that Tim is lying and that the rest of Tim's friends were there at the bridge when Danny died. McGill goes back to tell Tim to stop wasting his time with lies, and Tim tells him to do his job and find the witnesses on his own.
Gormond makes a call and tells the man at the other end, Sir Walter Fenchurch, that he's taken steps to make sure everything will be all right. Sir Walter warns that it's Gormond's problem, not his, and to stop calling him.
Later, McGill meets at a pub with one of his contacts in the press, Jarvis. Jarvis gives him the file on the inquest and says that the two main witnesses were Danny's friends Bill Rossiter and Pat Lestrange. They run a discotheque in Chelsea, Rossiter's Roost, and McGill thanks him for the information and heads out.
That night, McGill goes to Rossiter's Roost and sits at the bar. Lestrange comes over and McGill calls him by name, and says that he wants to talk to him about Danny's death. Although Lestrange says that it was settled at the inquest, McGill insists and Lestrange takes him in back to meet with his partner. Rossiter says that Tim is a neurotic and Danny saw through him immediately. Lestrange starts to mention someone else and then shuts up. Rossiter says that they tolerated Tim and explains that they were at Danny's the night before his death. Tim drank too much and followed Danny up the bridge to prove that he was just as good, and then shoved Danny off the bridge. Lestrange nervously mentions a third person and McGill says that it must be "the girl." When Lestrange says the girl's name is Annabelle, McGill admits that he didn't know her until now. Rossiter insists that they did the decent thing and kept her out of it and McGill tells them that they failed.
McGill goes back to the Gormond home and asks Margaret who Annabelle is. She tries to put him off, pointing out that Gormond isn't home, but McGill insists and Margaret confirms that Annabelle's last name is Fenchurch. As McGill leaves, Margaret admits that she never liked Annabelle even though Tim worshipped her, and warns that her husband only wants the truth that he wants to hear.
Back at Rossiter's Roost, McGill checks the bar and finds Annabelle drinking alone. He offers her a light and calls her by name, and Annabelle figures that he's trying to pick her up. McGill corrects her misunderstanding and tells her that Tim tried to kill himself. Annabelle is shocked to learn about Tim and figures that McGill is a detective. When she tries to walk away, McGill stops her and claims that Rossiter and Lestrange told him about her. Annabelle is surprised to hear they told McGill rather than Tim, and sits back down. McGill suggests that they have a drink and they go to a booth... while Rossiter watches them and calls Sir Walter. Sir Walter knows about McGill's involvement but tells Rossiter to leave McGill alone... for now.
Annabelle tells McGill that she tolerated Tim but prefers men. However, she snaps at McGill when he suggests that she's okay with Tim trying to kill himself. She avoids McGill's questions about what really happened and goes off to dance with a man.
McGill goes back to his hotel room and spots someone moving in the next room. He opens the door and finds Sir Walter waiting for him. Sir Walter explains that the porter let him in and that he's there to make sure Annabelle isn't tied to Tim. He offers to put in a good word with American Intelligence and get McGill reinstated... if he stops looking into Danny's death. After Sir Walter leaves, Gormond calls and asks McGill if he knows where Tim is. McGill says that he doesn't and that if Gormond wants him to babysit Tim then he'll have to pay him another 1,000 pounds. Disgusted, Gormond hangs up.
Figuring where he'll head, McGill goes to Albert Bridge and finds Tim there. Tim says that he has no intention of killing himself personally and explains that the bridge symbolizes his feelings of guilt. McGill says that he talked to Annabelle and she said she was there when Danny died. The ex-agent also knows that Annabelle got a job at a fashion show and invites Tim to come along to say hello. Tim refuses, figuring that McGill is trying to trick him, and vows to kill himself when he's ready. As McGill drives Tim home, he asks if Tim wants to pass on anything to Annabelle. He says that he doesn't want Annabelle to grieve for him
Annabelle is preparing to model a wedding dress when her father comes in and invites her to lunch. She says that she'll be busy, and Sir Walter tells her that she doesn't need the job. Annabelle insists that she's going through with it and her father suggests that she take a trip out of the country. She realizes that he's trying to get rid of her and refuses, and Sir Walter tells her not to waste her youth. The manager calls her to the stage and Annabelle excuses herself.
As Annabelle walks the runway, she sees McGill in the audience and nods coolly to him. Lestrange is also in the audience, watching McGill, and he walks out when McGill notices him. McGill goes backstage and intercepts Annabelle, and demands the full story about Danny's death. She insists that there's nothing else to tell, unaware that Lestrange is listening in on them. McGill persists and Annabelle finally admits that she was there. She explains that Tim and Danny were rivals, and Tim grew jealous when he found out Annabelle and Danny were in love. They were drunk and shoved each other, and Danny fell off the bridge. Annabelle storms off and Lestrange quickly hides.
McGill goes out to his car and discovers that someone has slashed his tire. As he starts to take off the hubcap, he spots Rossiter and Lestrange in the reflection and defends himself when they attack. They manage to knock him out and Annabelle, driving by in her father's car, orders the chauffeur to stop. He refuses on Sir Walter's orders, while Rossiter and Lestrange run off. Lestrange calls Sir Walter and assures him that McGill won't be giving them anymore trouble.
When McGill gets back to his hotel room, he collapses on the couch. Annabelle comes calling and McGill lets her in. She apologizes, admitting she didn't know how far her father would go, and McGill wonders how far Annabelle will go. He tells her that it will only end when she tells the truth.
Sir Walter calls Gormond in and tells him to pay off McGill and let the matter rest for good. As for Tim, Sir Walter suggests that Gormond commit him and makes it clear he has enough on Gormond that he should follow his orders.
The next morning, Tim goes downstairs at dawn and Margaret begs him to stop. He ignores her and goes outside, and finds McGill and Annabelle waiting for him. McGill knows he's heading for Albert Bridge and offers him to give him a ride. Tim gets in and they drive to the bridge, and Tim begs them to leave him alone. Annabelle insists that it was an accident, but Tim tells her that they both know better. McGill tells him to jump if he's going to jump and Tim starts climbing the supports. Annabelle panics and McGill coldly tells her to leave if she doesn't want to watch it again. Otherwise she's the only one who can tell the truth about what happened.
Annabelle runs to the support and calls on Tim to come down. She yells him that he's innocent and describes how on the morning Danny died, he climbed up the bridge to celebrate. Annabelle finally convinced him to tell everyone what he was celebrating, and Danny announced that Annabelle loves her. She confirmed it to a shocked Tim, but Danny then said that he didn't love her and has just been using her. Tim climbed up to confront the man who had used the woman Tim loved, but Danny easily knocked him off the support and Tim landed on the road below. When Danny climbed down, Annabelle shoved him off the bridge into the water below.
Tim climbs back down and Annabelle swears to him that what she described is true. He assures Annabelle that he loved her and she says that she knows. Sir Walter and Gormond arrive and Annabelle tells her father that she told them everything. Gormond thanks McGill and walks home with Tim, and Sir Walter leads Annabelle to his car. However, McGill points out that the police have to be told and he'll make sure Sir Walter does so... whether he wants to or not. Before she goes, Annabelle thanks McGill for freeing her.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 25, 2015