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Derek Porter was a man paralyzed in a boating accident, and was told by his doctors that he would never walk again. After several months he regained his ability to walk, but did not tell his Aunt Edna. Because his family's wealth had been all but depleted, Derek turned to drug smuggling. He spread horrible rumors about his home at Sea Cliff Manor to ward people away, while he used a nearby lighthouse to signal his contact's boat.
Aunt Edna hired nurse Christine Palmer to serve as Derek's physiotherapist, but he resisted her treatment, claiming that he could feel neither pleasure nor pain. Christine saw the lighthouse lit on her first evening and began to question Derek about it the following morning, but he flung himself from his chair to make her forget.
Christine saw the lights again on her second night, and saw Derek (disguised in a coat) signaling to them, but as she ventured out on her balcony, the railing broke and she barely kept from falling off the roof. Christine set out to investigate the next morning, but Derek did his best to convince her that her fears were for nothing.
On the third evening, Christine found a secret passage in Sea Cliff Manor's library which led out to the sea, and found Derek's shoes there, covered with mud. When she confronted him, he rose from the chair and revealed what he had been doing. Derek caught her and attempted to throw her off a cliff, but the butler, Harold, rolled Derek's wheelchair down the cliff at him; it struck Derek off the side of the cliff, and he died on the rocks below.