During a party at Lady Blemley’s house, Mr. Appin successfully teaches Tobermory, the Blemley’s pet cat, how to speak like a human. This feat quickly turns from spectacle to disaster as Tobermory begins disclosing the secrets and scandals of all in attendance. The party guests resolve to poison Tobermory so he cannot make all of their secrets public, but before they are able to do so Tobermory runs off to chase the tomcat from the rectory. The party guests wait anxiously until morning for Tobermory’s return. Finally a gardener enters with a dead Tobermory in his hands. Judging from the scratches on his body and the fur in his claws, the guests conclude that Tobermory died in a scuffle with the tomcat from the rectory. Relieved that their secrets are at last safe, they each depart the Blemley home. Shortly afterward, there is an announcement in the newspaper that Mr. Appin died in an elephant attack—presumably in the course of trying to teach the elephant how to speak.