All he wanted was to rob a bank — how was he to know that the bank manager had a gun and wasn't afraid to try to use it? How was he to know the townspeople would have resources enough to deploy a plane to watch for an escaping fugitive? How was he to know they'd be clever enough to take in all the laundry, disable all the cars — "Don't give him a hope of disguise, or a meal, or a bit of cash, or a car for a get-away." And when he realized that the bank manager's car might not have been caught up in the order to disable, what with the manager being dead and his widow crippled with arthritis, how was he to know that their 'shady daughter' — a homewrecker involved in a dirty divorce scandal — had come home for a visit?
Ted Waite hadn't meant to shoot Arnold Grenfel, it was a reflex action. And now the bank's alarms had gone off, there was not time to take the money. Where could he go? The police were alerted already. A car perhaps, but that was futile. He could not get out of the town, and he'd still got a gun and a cut hand. The house then, with Mrs. Grenfel and Hilary... A murder is committed in which the murderer takes cover in the house of the man he has killed. He plans to make an escape, which is so cleverly worked out, that the occupants of the house can see no way of preventing it.