In six days Silas Mudd will be one hundred years old and is alarmingly healthy - more than can be said of his son. 'Not sure he'll make old bones' he confides loudly to his daughter-in-law. Grumpily flattered by the fuss over his impending party - even from his irritating family, Silas' greater pleasure is 'to go over his life' and the women whom he loved and who made trouble for him: his sterling and capable Aunt; his wonderfully vulgar second wife Bella; Molly, a music-hall singing sister; and Effie, his first and hopeless wife. Silas is the only one left who knows exactly what is shoring up his family. And now he sits, waiting and thinking, just wondering what it would be like if he were to say ...