A Handful of Dust

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The marriage of English country gentleman Tony Last and his wife Brenda is falling apart as Brenda begins an affair with social climber John Beaver. When the Lasts' eight-year-old son John Andrew is killed in a riding accident, Brenda informs Tony of her affair and her wishes for a divorce so she can marry Beaver. Tony is shattered, but initially agrees and intends to provide her with £500 a year. Beaver and his mother have pressed Brenda to demand £2,000 per year. This amount would require Tony to give up Hetton Abbey, his beloved Victorian Gothic house and estate. After determining that Brenda is aware that he would have to give up the estate and knowing as she does how much he loves his home, he withdraws from the divorce arrangements and announces that he intends to travel for six months. On his return, he says, Brenda may have her divorce but without any financial settlement.

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