A Nottinghamshirecoal miner's wife, a young mother, waits for her abusive husband Walter to come home. She blames his drinking for his absence. It turns out he has been killed in a pit accident. Laying out his corpse, after it is brought home from the mine, makes her realize they never really knew each other. Upon the discovery that her husband has died, the protagonist, Elizabeth, is able to remain calm and collected, especially in front of her children. In contrast, Walter's mother, who lives near the young couple and their children, becomes hysterical, highlighting her overbearing nature.