The story begins with a description of the mother, named Hester, and says that she is somewhat detached from her children emotionally. There also seems to be a whispering in the house saying "There must be more money!"
Hester feels a pressure to be wealthy as the family loses money and she blames it on being unlucky. Her son Paul claims he is lucky and when she doesn't believe him, he resolves to prove her wrong.
Paul becomes fanatical about his riding horse because he thinks it will bring him good luck.
Paul's Uncle Oscar begins helping out by betting on horse races along with Paul's lucky bets, and gives Hester the money to help her. This money, however, makes the "whispering" worse.
Hester gets home after a party one night and hears Paul rocking on the horse violently. She enters the room and sees him and the rocking horse glowing.
He says eerily "It's Malabar", falls over, and dies that night. Malabar is the name of the horse that won, and Hester got 80,000 pounds. Uncle Oscar tells her she is better off this way.