On his birthday, middle-aged Henry Perkins is going home to Fulham on the underground, looking forward to his birthday dinner, for which he and his wife Jean have invited their old friends, Vic and Betty Johnson. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened so far, but on the tube train he by mistake picks up a wrong suitcase without noticing it. He gets off at Fulham Broadway, wants to get out his gloves and scarf and realises that he is actually carrying someone else's briefcase. In it, he finds £735,000 in used £50 notes. He goes to a pub and counts the money several times in one of the booths of the gents. "Bent copper" Davenport—in plain clothes—watches the excited man and believes he has come to the pub to solicit men.