How Do I Love Thee?

Tom Waltz, a college professor, finds out that Stanley, his father, is in Lourdes, France. He quickly catches a flight there over his wife Marion’s objections.

Stanley is a furniture mover, happily married to Elsie but tempted by Lena, an artist. No actual affair takes place, but Lena does give him a poem as a parting gift that Stanley later enters in a contest. He wins a $10,000 prize and donates the money to Tom’s department at the university. Tom is rewarded with a promotion over his rival, Littlefield.

Trouble develops when the “original” poem is exposed as being one of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnets. Littlefield gets the job and Tom’s reputation is sullied. Stanley prays for divine intervention and Littlefield promptly dies. Stanley flies to Lourdes to atone and pray for forgiveness, but is relieved when Tom informs him that Littlefield’s death occurred before his request for help from above.