The Robedaux family has been divided by the exigencies of an unhappy fate. Julie Robedaux has moved back to her family's house with the children, Horace, Jr. and Beth Ruth, and has enlisted the help of her sister, Callie, in trying to operate the old place as a boarding house. Her husband, Horace Sr., ravaged by alcohol and disease, awaits the end of his wasted life at his mother's home, pathetically hopeful that he will still be able to make amends to his wife and children, and guide his son in the study of law. This fragile strand of hope is broken when it is acknowledged that the boarding house is a losing proposition, and that the only course of action for Julia, Callie and the children is to move to Houston in search of work. Horace Jr. refuses to go. As a violent storm breaks he rushes off, and when he eventually comes home again, after having been given up for lost, the family has gone to Houston and his father is dead. When she learns that he is still alive, Horace's mother comes back from Houston and, in a poignant, touching scene, tells the boy that she has remarried, and that she can't ask him to come back with her, at least for the present. Horace stays behind and starts over again. He also has his father's law books, and the gentle guidance and concern of a family friend, Jim Howard, in turning back to them. The play ends on a warm note of hopefulness as Horace and Mr. Howard begin to study—and to help each other find a way in the long night of loneliness.
Originally produced on television's DuPont Show of the Month under the title The Night of the Storm.