In a sleepy coal town in 1950's Kentucky, the line between what belongs to
him, and what does not begins to blur for wealthy mine owner, TJ Thomas.
TJ has no children and a busy wife. His wealth does not fill the emptiness
in his life.
Ruby Davis is the stunning young wife of Henry, TJ's best friend and
employee. Ruby believes that land and a home are the only real security in
TJ promotes Henry to a new position that keeps him from home a great deal,
but rewards him with a free company house.
TJ is drawn to Ruby's beauty and educated manner. When a man from town
tries to rape Ruby in Henry's absence, TJ intervenes and protects her. He
has the man beaten.
When TJ accidentally sees Ruby bathing, it is more than he can resist. He
follows her to the schoolhouse and seduces her. Like Bathsheba, Ruby is
overwhelmed by the powerful TJ, and her emotions are confused.
Ruby's resulting pregnancy sets TJ on fire with excitement. Henry comes
home, and is delighted by the pregnancy, until he realizes something does
not add up.
TJ sends Henry to a dangerous mine, and the tunnel floods as TJ
anticipated. Men die. In her terror that Henry has been killed, Ruby loses
the baby. Henry's son convinces TJ to save Henry. Henry has realized that
TJ is responsible for Ruby's broken spirit. He hits TJ and drives away
defiantly in TJ's new car.
The Davises leave town, Henry forgives Ruby, and Ruby realizes that there
are kinds of security that do not involve deeds. TJ realizes he cannot
have everything in the world that appeals to him. And that if he tries to
buy it, sometimes the price will be too high.