The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything Analysis

John D. MacDonald

The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

When Omar Krepps suddenly dies, Kirby Winter, his nephew and only living relative, is thought to be the sole heir to a purportedly vast fortune. Uncle Omar, a reclusive philanthropist with a talent for both magic and high finance, in fact has left his nephew no money, only a very strange bequest: a gold pocket watch and a letter. Kirby is to receive the watch immediately; the letter is to be delivered to him in one year.

Kirby’s relationship with his uncle was cordial but not close. Although Uncle Omar financed Kirby’s college education, he also insisted on selecting his courses, emphasizing ethics and moral philosophy. Kirby is awkward and self-conscious, notably lacking in self-assurance. Both during and after college, he was employed by his uncle as a courier, charged with delivering large sums of money to charitable organizations throughout the world.

After Omar’s death, Kirby’s quiet routine is shattered by his pursuit by a trio of curious characters. There is the seductive Charla, to whose charms Kirby immediately succumbs; always nearby, however, is the sinister Joseph, Charlas consort, business partner, and general factotum. The aggressive Filiatra, Charlas niece, completes the trio. Filiatra, however, has broken with her aunt and changed her name to Betsy Alden. Betsy has a change of heart and is determined to help save Kirby. Kirby’s other allies include Wilma Farnham, Uncle Omar’s devoted secretary, and the vivacious...

(The entire section is 550 words.)