RUN WITH THE DEVIL
On a platform at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, members of a religious sect, ‘The Crusaders’, take their turn to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness. When it comes to the turn of Brother Hewitt, it is obvious that he is disturbed. With a cry, he rushes from the platform and away through the crowd.
Later that night, Hewitt knocks on the door of psychiatrist Dr Roger Corder, who has treated his sister in the past. Corder arranges for him to be admitted to hospital for observation.
All the psychiatrist can find out is that Hewitt claims to have done something which has left him terrified, something that he fears he will do again. Corder sends his nurse, Jane Harris, to Hewitt’s address to tell his wife. At the address, a dress shop in Battersea, Jane can get no reply. Neighbours say that Mrs Hewitt has not been seen for a couple of weeks and no-one saw her leave.
Meanwhile, Corder has found Hewitt to be an intelligent and deeply religious man. But his tremendous guilt complex, and the disappearance of the wife, make the doctor uneasy. He sends Jane with Dr Jimmy Davis to look over the dress shop. They find it in disorder. A female leg behind a settee leads to the discovery of a shattered and decapitated fashion dummy. The dummy is taken to the hospital. When Hewitt is confronted with it, he collapses.
Slowly, Corder gets the facts. The fashion dummies are scattered over the house – shameless things. Hewitt had a sudden urge to destroy one. When questioned about his wife, Hewitt is confused. Corder feels that the dummy is a manifestation of a wish to kill his wife. Jimmy Davis thinks that he has possibly already done so, and destroyed the dummy as he felt it was mocking him.
Erica Hewitt returns, having been living quietly in the country, thinking about her marital problems. Corder talks to her, but she will not allow Hewitt to remain in his care. Deeply religious, her belief is in God, not psychiatry. Hewitt goes back to the house, to be greeted with great affection. These two are in love and want children, but between them is some strong barrier of conscience.
Corder checks the file on Hewitt’s sister, and seeing her finds the cause of much of the disturbance in the man’s mind. Hewitt and Erica are not married – he already has a wife. Here are two people with deep religious beliefs, living together in sin.
Corder becomes even more uneasy when he learns that Hewitt’s real wife won’t divorce him. It is now probable that the affair of the dummy was a desire to kill the wife who stood in the way of life and happiness with Erica.
When he finds that Hewitt has left his home, he collects Erica, and drives to the house of the real wife. Here he is just in time to stop Hewitt from strangling the woman. The doctor tells the wife to consider the wreck she has made of her husband by her selfish desire to hold on to him. Frightened by her narrow escape, she agrees to a divorce.
Suddenly Corder realises that the husband is no longer in the house. With the sudden fear that Hewitt, in his rage and despair, may turn his hatred on himself, he races into the street.
There, Dr Corder finds Hewitt, weeping like a child in the arms of the woman who is soon to become his wife.