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Clarence Olderberry, a senile psychopath living in a Canadian town, is sexually attracted to little girls. High school principal Peter Carter and his wife, Sally, new arrivals from England, discover that their 9-year-old daughter Jean and her playmate Lucille have undressed in front of Olderberry in exchange for candy. Peter takes the matter to court, but the wealthy Olderberry's son, a powerful influence in the community, is able to conceal the fact that his father is a former mental patient and at the same time arouse public sentiment against the Carters. The prosecution is dropped when the defense counsel, a clever "family" lawyer, bullies and confuses Jean, and the old man is acquitted. Peter resigns his post and prepares to leave town when he discovers that Jean and Lucille have vanished, as has Clarence Olderberry. A search party finds the old man beside the murdered body of Lucille. Jean is found wandering around, unaware of the fate that has befallen her friend.