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While attending a party on the Left Bank in Paris, student Anne Goupil overhears a discussion of the mysterious suicide of Juan, a young Spaniard. Later she meets Gérard Lenz, a theatrical director, and Philip Kaufman, an American victim of McCarthyism. Philip tells her that Juan died because he had learned the secret of a worldwide conspiracy; Gérard also knows the secret and will be the next victim. Hoping to save Gérard's life by remaining near him, Anne takes a part in a play he is directing. Her further efforts to unravel the mystery lead her to Terry, the former mistress of all three men. Terry admits that she learned the secret from Philip and confided it to both Juan and Gérard. Anne fails to save Gérard, and after Gérard's suicide, Philip is revealed as a paranoiac who, suffering from an old war wound, invented the story of the worldwide organization. Anne realizes that the deaths of Juan and Gérard are attributable not to any conspiracy, but rather to the motivations of their own lives.