The entire action of the play takes place between 7 and 9:30 in the evening of a summer in 1910. Sam Griggs dies in the first act. Immediately Sam's spirit, however, descends to the living room in great anxiety, because Sam has passes on not only leaving his wife and daughter penniless but having misappropriated his son's savings for a speculative venture. Moreover, he has kept his speculation a secret and the real estate investment has been made in the name of his partner. Sam, in the living room, encounters the spirit of his father, who had been killed in a tavern brawl when he was 38. Sam's father urges Sam to leave, because funerals are depressing, and tells him that his family will be all right; but Sam's conscience bothers him so much he must remain until things are straightened out.
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