Paul's mother is obsessed with money and never seems to have enough. Money, or the lack thereof, is such a presence in the home that the house seems to whisper, "There must be more money!" Paul asks his mother why there is never enough money, and she tells him it is because his father is unlucky. Paul believes that luck brings money, so he begins riding his wooden rocking-horse frantically, waiting for a feeling to come to him that will let him know which horse will win the upcoming race. He begins betting without his mother's knowledge, and his Uncle Oscar learns of his betting and becomes his partner. He wins race after race and amasses $10,000. He anonymously sends his mother half of his winnings, believing this will make her happy and quiet the whispering house. But things only worsen. The house whispers louder and more frantically than ever.
Suddenly, he is without his lucky vision. Two big races go by without him knowing who will win, and he is frantic with worry. Even his coldhearted mother begins to worry about him. The night before the derby, she finds him desperately riding his wooden rocking-horse, and he suddenly exclaims "Malabar" and falls, unconscious, to the floor. Malabar does win the derby, and the boy wakes long enough to realize that he has amassed $80,000. But the boy never gets to enjoy any of his winnings, because he dies that night. The mother realizes the folly of her avarice when she hears her brother say, "But, poor devil, poor devil, he's best gone out of a life where he rides a rocking-horse to find a winner." Her brother's voice condemns her for the pressure she has put on her young son because of her greed.