To all appearances, Dr Cake is an unexceptional man. After a period of study and practice in London, and several years travelling in Europe, he has chosen the life of a village doctor. He publishes regularly in medical journals and lives quietly and alone with his housekeeper. His extensive bookcase demonstrates a keen interest in poetry and drama, and indeed in everything he does, he shows himself a man of the widest sympathies. Locally, he is known for his great kindness to his patients. When he dies, the local church is full to overflowing with mourners. But why, on the brass plate so ostentatiously screwed into his coffin-lid, is there no name?