The norms of hospital practices are turned upside-down in this complex drama about how many rights are denied patients who do not conform. At the beginning of the story, a man is found lying on the side of the road and is brought in to the police station as a probable vagrant, but he has no memory and seems to have lost his powers of speech. Perplexed and defeated by their unsuccessful attempts to make him talk, the police send the man over to the hospital for examination by psychiatrists. After some time, it becomes apparent that he understands everything going on around him and is simply refusing to talk. This sets off a series of antagonistic actions on the part of the hospital staff, suspicious about his "purpose" in remaining silent. Although some explanation is discovered as to why he is this way, the supposedly sane doctors and staff come off looking like they may need treatment themselves.