Moriondo, a bachelor in his mid-forties, has spent half his life on billiard tables around the world and returns to his home town after fifteen years. Tired, penniless, with a failing budget, he returns above all to rediscover part of what he suffers from having lost: the feelings, the enthusiasm, the memories of youth. Instead he finds many people willing to remain silent and some friends who escape him, like Mambretti. He finds, above all, a mysterious hint of death. In fact, he learns that five years earlier a friend of his, Count Luigi Ambrosi, was killed with a singular system. A cyanide egg. The investigations and the trial recognized a certain “Panozzo”, administrator of Count Ambrosi, as the perpetrator of the crime, but the wife of the killed man continues to maintain that an innocent man was convicted.