A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits.

Joe Taylor: I think she went to a bridge fully dressed and stood there breathing the warm night air. And she took off her jacket and folded it neatly on the ground. And then she unbuttoned her blouse and undid her brassiere and let it drop down on top of the other clothes. And she'd unbutton her skirt and let it slip down over her hips. And then she'd unroll her stockings and hold them out so that they blew in the breeze like penance before she let them float off into the night. And she'd shiver and ask herself if she really wanted to go through with this, and she'd answer that question by kicking her clothes into the river. And hurriedly now she'd take off her garter and her knickers. And there'd she be, standing in her petticoat, thinking about whatever it was that brought her to this. And then with her petticoat billowing around her she'd drop into the water like a rose, float there for a moment, and be gone.
Les Gault: What kind of woman would do that?
Joe Taylor: Just an ordinary woman.
Les Gault: What'd you do that for?
Joe Taylor: I had no use for it.
Les Gault: Must be worth something, though.
Joe Taylor: Not to me.
Joe Taylor: [after having sex with Ella] Are you sorry?
Ella Gault: Fat lot of good that would do me.

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