Set in an earlier time, we join a psychological drama of Sam Jones. The state executioner contemplates his own demise, but what has he done wrong? In flashback, Sam recounts his career of hundreds of hangings. Secrecy veils the job, and even the hangman’s wife is unaware of her husband’s business.
Gossip brings the news to Helen, and Sam is forced to admit to her, with much description, all about the morbid job that he has come to love. He loves everything about it. The stumbling up the steps, the cries of the doomed, the sound of money in his pocket. Not able to come to grips with the news, his wife leads him.
The eager executioner even read newspapers for accounts of crimes where his services would be called for. Who would the courts send his way next? If it was the courts who condemned the man, why is Sam so concerned over being caught? Who is pursuing him, and why? Has he been caught tampering with evidence? Who was the innocent man that was killed at his hand?