Not a mystery as one might expect from France's ""Edgar Wallace"", but a semi-pathological study of a man. The Burgomaster, Baas, had worked his way into the leading position in the small Flemish town of Furnes by shrewd, calloused manipulations. Married to a cowering, malingering woman, their only child totally insane, he had known little happiness -- and given even less. A hard, repellant, and much feared figure -- he changes when he assumes the protection of the daughter of his oldest enemy, who is driver out of the house when she becomes pregnant. Through the girl, light-headed and frivolous, he first learns of a human way of life, and realizes the sterility of power and money. Slow-moving, but finedrawn picture of maladjustment and failure.