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When Mavis, a maid at the Barradine estate, marries fellow servant William Dale, Lord Barradine's influence secures Dale the position of postmaster in the Rodchurch district. When Dale is faced with dismissal for assaulting a patron, Mavis realizes that her husband's case is hopeless without Barradine's help. He agrees to intervene in return for Mavis' sexual favors, and Dale is reinstated. When Dale discovers the cost, he kills Barradine and escapes without detection. Years later, still tormented by guilt, Dale becomes infatuated with Norah, a young gypsy girl. On the point of yielding to his passions, Dale dies in a fire while rescuing children from a nearby burning orphanage, thereby freeing himself from his agony.