Something Always Happens - Plot


Peter Middleton is an unemployed car salesman. He maintains his optimism and refuses the charity offered by his friends, saying that having no money would force him to go to work. He meets up with street urchin Billy, and together they find a room for the night. Peter has no money, but offers to pay Mrs. Badger, the landlady, tomorrow, to which she makes an exception in his case. While out trying to buy a car to sell, he meets Cynthia Hatch, and he takes her out to a restaurant, where she is known to the staff. She asks them to pretend to not know her, to play a trick on Peter. Unbeknownst to Peter, she is the daughter of the head of a petrol company, and when he says that he has a plan to make petrol stations more attractive to customers by including roadhouses, she suggests that he go to see Mr. Hatch about a job. Peter asks for change, and when the bill comes, he solves his pecuniary problem by paying it with the same money. The following day Peter takes her advice and goes to see Mr. Hatch, but Mr. Hatch turns him down, so he goes to see a rival company, which hires him. Meanwhile, Billy helps the landlady with the chores.

Peter makes the company a success, much to the chagrin of Mr. Hatch, who had been hoping to buy the company. Peter hires Cynthia as a secretary, still unaware of her true identity. Billy also joins the company. When Peter learns that a bypass is going to be built, he plans to buy lots along the route before Hatch hears about it. However, George Hamlin, a fellow car salesman, betrays the plan to Hatch, who proceeds to outbid Peter's company. After Peter receives the bad news, he sees Cynthia with Hatch outside the window, and thinks that Cynthia betrayed him. When he confronts her, she reveals that she and Hatch were together because he is her father. After she leaves, Peter then learns that the bypass will not be built for another fifteen years. Assured of the last laugh, when Hatch decides to sell his holdings in town, Peter accepts the offer. After the sale, Hatch then learns of the delay, and realizes he has been a fool. Peter is then reconciled with Cynthia.

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Famous quotes containing the word plot:

    There comes a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    James’s great gift, of course, was his ability to tell a plot in shimmering detail with such delicacy of treatment and such fine aloofness—that is, reluctance to engage in any direct grappling with what, in the play or story, had actually “taken place”Mthat his listeners often did not, in the end, know what had, to put it in another way, “gone on.”
    James Thurber (1894–1961)

    Ends in themselves, my letters plot no change;
    They carry nothing dutiable; they won’t
    Aspire, astound, establish or estrange.
    Philip Larkin (1922–1986)