James Tuthill takes a superb photo from a cliff but then falls off, mortally wounding himself and the camera. 12-year old Timothy Maddox, whose mother rescues Tuthill, sees the photo but cannot remove the image card. Mike Angleby, photographic society president, learns from Tuthill just before he dies that the photo he took is "e;perfect"e;, so he offers to rescue it from the card. Angleby then claims he took the photo and sells the rights for a huge sum. Timothy knows he is lying but could only prove it by admitting that he now has the photo too, against his mother's wishes. Justice is — partly — done, via Timothy's substitution of a poem, an arts editor's questioning, a policeman's doubts and a bank manager's suspicions. Timothy learns the ways of the world quickly and painfully, though he is not as naive as his mother thinks!