Synopsis The film is told through the naive eyes of a diplomat's young son, Phillipe, who idolises his father's butler, Baines. Baines has invented a heroic persona to keep the boy entertained, and often tells him stories of his exotic and daring adventures in Africa and elsewhere, stories such as putting down a native uprising single-handed, killing a man in self-defense, and so on. In reality, the butler has never been to Africa and is stuck in a loveless marriage, while dreaming of happiness with a younger woman. After Baines has an argument with his jealous wife, she accidentally falls from a landing to her death. However, Phillipe believes that he has seen Baines murder her. The boy desperately and clumsily attempts to protect his hero when the police investigate, but his efforts only lead Baines deeper into trouble.