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Phillip Romilly is a poor art teacher in London. He finds out that his wealthy cousin Douglas has been seeing his girl friend Beatrice behind his back. He strangles Douglas, throws him in the canal, and assumes his identity. Douglas had booked passage to America for the next day, so after a pleasant sea voyage Phillip arrives at the Waldorf Hotel in New York as Douglas Romilly. An hour after checking in he disappears again, and assumes yet another identity, one that his cousin had set up for himself. Douglas was facing massive financial problems, and he, too, had planned to avoid his problems by getting lost in the crowd in New York. Now, in chapter two…. (Summary by Maikki)