The newspapers are filled with reports about the new government scandal. At the natural resources board, Sir Denis Galt calls the meeting to a close. Afterward, Denis and his fellow board member Hawkins complain that the reporters are picking on them. Hawkins points out that they were spot-on about the cases of champagne and asks about Denis’ wife Carol, and Denis says that Carol will be out of town until later that week.
Later, Denis meets his mistress Magda Kurtz at a Chinese restaurant. She asks about Carol and why they’re taking their holidays separately, and Denis dismisses it as typical English behavior. Magda admires the broach that Denis gave her and he says that it’s a family heirloom. His mistress admits that she’s jealous that Denis is married to Carol, and he points out that they had three wonderful weeks. Angry, Magda says that it’s better that they don’t see each other again and walks off... with the broach. Hawkins and his wife come in and interrupt Denis. By the time Denis get outside, Carol has left in a taxi.
Later, Denis calls McGill in and explains how he became involved with Magda while Carol was out of town for a month. Denis says that he loaned Magda his broach for the night, and Magda refuses to meet with him. He worries that he’ll be in trouble if Carol comes back, and McGill says that he knows that Denis will lose his board position if there’s another scandal. McGill figures that Magda knows the situation again, and asks what Denis wants him to do. Denis suggests that he break into Magda’s flat and steal the broach, and offers a key. McGill agrees to do it if Denis drives him there, and Denis agrees.
The two men park near Magda’s flat and wait until she leaves. McGill lets himself in and searches the place. He finds an address book with reference to Jim Ezard, next to an entry for Denis. Continuing his search, McGill finds a letter but no broach.
McGill and Denis return to Denis’ apartment. Reynolds arrives and says that he wants to talk to Denis about Carol’s broach. He explains that he’s a jeweler and Carol asked his company to do some alterations., and wanted it done by the time she came back. Reynolds shows Denis the note of authorization, and Denis says that he has it in deposit and will get it to Reynolds. Reynolds gives Denis his number and leaves, and McGill suggests that Magda is working with Reynolds to put the pressure on Denis. Denis refuses to call Carol and confirm the letter is legitimate, and McGill shows him the letter from Magda’s apartment. It’s from Magda’s mother in Austria, saying that she’s sending money and her husband isn’t well and will be retiring from his railroad job. Denis realizes that Magda’s family isn’t landowners like she claimed, and tells McGill to offer Magda whatever she wants within reason for the broach.
Magda is at the Casino Club when McGill finds her. He buys her a drink and she claims that her family has a castle in Austria, high in the mountains. Magda describes it in detail, and McGill asks why her father is still working for the railroad. He calls her by name and says that Denis has told him about her. She claims that her father was hurt in an accident, and insists that Denis gave her the broach as a present. Magda suggests that they dance and McGill joins her. He says that if she doesn’t give the broach back then she’ll end up in court. Ezard comes in as Magda says that if she ends up in court then the whole story will come out. She goes over to Ezard and leads him out.
The next day, McGill goes back to Denis and tells her what happened. Denis shows him a cable from Carol confirming that she’s returning early from Bermuda and he couldn’t reach her. McGill directs his attention to two men across the street watching the place, and warns that they’ve been there since Reynolds came by. He suggests that Denis call Reynolds so that they can see what’s going on. As Denis calls in, Reynolds comes in and Denis tells him that he’ll have it tomorrow. McGill comments on Reynolds’ tone, and Reynolds says that he’ll contact Carol if he doesn’t have the broach. When McGill follows Reynolds outside, the two thugs jump him and knock him out.
Once they leave, McGill calls to trace Reynolds’ phone number. The number is unlisted, and McGill tells Denis to try to reach Carol while he checks with Magda.
Soon, McGill takes Magda out for lunch and asks what she knows about Reynolds. She claims that she’s never heard of him, and McGill warns that Reynolds is dangerous. Magda says that she needs the money to get by, and claims that she’s studying medicine. She suggests that she wouldn’t mind an American husband. When McGill wonders what Magda wants for the broach, she takes him to a store and tries on a mink coat. It’s three thousand guineas, and McGill asks her to put aside until the next day. Magda says that she wants to think about it, and McGill says that she has to choose the coat or the police. She agrees but says that the bank is closed and she has an appointment. McGill says that he’ll meet her at her apartment the next morning at 10, and she leaves.
Magda meets Ezard at the club and claims that McGill is an old friend of the family. She says that McGill offered to buy her a fur coat, and Ezard jealously says that he’s the only one who will buy her anything and will look after her.
The two thugs go to Denis’ office and invite him to call the police if he doesn’t like them there. He refuses and they tell him to hand over the broach. Denis insists that he doesn’t have it but they don’t believe it. McGill arrives and shoves himself in, and the thugs attack him. They run for it and McGill goes after them, but they drive off before he can stop them. When McGill goes back, Denis says that he’s not going to involve the police for fear of a scandal. They receive word that Carol is heading back, and McGill tells Denis that Magda is willing to hand over the broach in return for 3,000 guineas.
The next day, McGill drives to Magda’s apartment. A girl is cleaning and says that Magda moved out earlier that morning. She left a letter for McGill, saying that Ezard put down his foot and they’re getting married at once. He goes back to Denis at his office and shows him the letter. Denis saw the wedding announcement in the papers, and explains that Ezard collects debutantes and likes to spend money. Carol has cabled that she’s arriving in London in a few hours. McGill finds Ezard’s address in the phone book and goes to see him.
At Ezard’s apartment building, McGill discovers that the man is out. The porter says that the wedding is after lunch and McGill claims that he’s a society reporter. The man says that a lot of rich women visit Ezard, including some that are married. He’s happy that a lot of debt collectors visited Ezard, and confirms that Ezard will be back at 4.
McGill buys some flowers and drives off, and Rey7nolds’ thugs notice him. They then report to Reynolds, who owns the Casino Club. Reynolds figures that Ezard has the broach and is using it to pay off his gambling debts, and tells his thugs to tell Ezard that he has a prior claim on the broach.
After going back to Ezard’s apartment, McGill offers the flowers and champagne to Magda. She says that they’re going to Monte Carlo for their honeymoon and will spend time on Ezard’s yacht. Magda insists that her fiancé is too marvelous for words, and McGill reminds her about the broach. He threatens to tell Ezard everything if she doesn’t come clean, and Magda says that she gave it to Ezard. Ezard comes out of the bathroom and Magda says that she’ll see him at the registry office for the service.
Once Magda leaves, McGill claims that he gave Magda the broach before Ezard came along. Ezard says that his money is tied up in a family trust, and he’s deposited his broach at his bank for security. McGill says that he knows that Ezard doesn’t have a penny and demands the broach, and Ezard explains that he has an overdraft of 5,000 pounds. The ex-agent offers to settle it for him.
McGill calls Dennis and tells him that it will cost him 5,000 pounds to get the broach back. Denis objects to the price but McGill says that it’s his only option. The government man has no choice but to accept.
The thugs break into Ezard’s apartment and tell Ezard that Reynolds wants the broach. They take him to Reynolds over his objections.
Magda arrives at the registry office and waits for Ezard.
Carol’s flight lands and Denis greets his wife. In the parking garage, Reynolds greets Carol and says that he’s sure that Carol will want things settled amicably. Denis demands an explanation, and Carol explains that she owes some gambling debts to Reynolds and gave him the broach to cover her debts. McGill arrives and says that English law doesn’t give Reynolds possession of the broach. He asks Carol if she wants him to give the broach to Reynolds, and Carol admits that Reynolds tried to blackmail her.
Reynolds realizes that it’s a lost cause and leaves with his men, and McGill gives Carol the broach. Carol admits that she was having an affair... with Ezard. Denis is furious that she put his career at risk, and she asks why McGill had her broach.
Magda waits at the registry office and McGill comes in. He warns her that Ezard isn’t coming, and that he’s as broke as Magda is... and he no longer has the broach. Magda suggests that they get married, but McGill says that he’s buying her a ticket back to Austria before she gets into more trouble.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 11, 2016