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When shiftless ne'er-do-well Julian Berniers returns with his child-like wife, Lily, to his shabby New Orleans home, he is greeted by his adoring spinster sisters, Carrie and Anna. He confesses that he has lost his shoe factory in Chicago but insists that he is, nevertheless, rich; and he showers them with expensive gifts, including two tickets to Europe. Carrie, possessed by an incestuous love for her brother, is incredulous, while the more skeptical Anna becomes suspicious because Julian refuses to explain the source of his sudden wealth. Furthermore, Lily suspects him of seeing another woman. Lily's wealthy mother, Albertine, and her Negro confidant, Henry, come to visit; and Carrie overhears them discussing a land deal between Julian and Charlotte Warkins, one of his ex-mistresses, in which the two swindled Charlotte's husband. Carrie, resentful of Lily, prods her into telephoning Mr. Warkins and exposing the scheme. As a result, Charlotte and Julian are waylaid by Warkins' hoodlums, beaten up, and robbed of their ill-gotten gains. When a battered and bruised Julian arrives home, he senses Carrie's happiness at his renewed dependence upon her; and realizing that it was Carrie, and not Lily, who betrayed him, he leaves in search of his wife. Anna, knowing that she can no longer live with Carrie, also departs. As the two leave the house, Carrie shouts after them, "You'll come back ... you'll come back."