As John Calvert, a successful engineer is dying, he tells he son, Dr. Lucian Calvert, that the family name is Burley. Because of the evil means by which the family fortune was obtained, he, John Calvert, had changed his name and disowned his father, Lucian's grandfather who yet lived. John solicits a promise from his son never to touch a penny of the old man's fortune. The older man, near 100, eventually dies, apparently without a will, leaving a fortune of £12,000,000. Fake relatives come from near and far seeking the fortune. Lucian is torn, but eventually succumbs to the temptation, convincing himself of the good deeds he can do with the fortune. He becomes involved in the struggle for the fortune. Ultimately, a will is found and the old man left his money to a foundation for establishment of college of science.