Philip Ashley receives a letter from Florence from his elder cousin, Ambrose - expressing grave suspicions concerning Ambrose's wife, Rachel. Philip arrives in Italy to find Ambose has died suddenly and Rachel gone. He returns to England convinced she was responsible for his death, hoping to inherit his possessions. Philip falls in love with her. When, in turn, the uncle's suspicions aroused, Philip temporarily, reverses his opinion and defends her. One small event after another cause a kind of see-saw of belief and disbelief. Is Rachel a scheming murderess or a grossly maligned woman?