On the Fourth of July holiday in 1906, the Miller family prepares to celebrate in their New England home. Young Richard, 16, is a thoughtful and poetic youth in love with a neighbor girl, Muriel. When Richard's messages of poetry to Muriel upset her prudish father, Muriel is forbidden to see him and forced to write a letter saying she wishes no more to do with him. Richard, devastated, sets out to learn the evil ways of the world and put his broken heart behind him.
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