In 1952 new FBI recruit Kevin Walker frames an old Chinese laundryman in San Francisco for being a Communist spy. After a ten-year stretch in prison, the old man is released and finds himself pursued again by Walker. In despair he throws himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. Walker tries to make amends by making friends with, and then having an affair with, the old man's daughter. She finds out who he is though and lays an old Chinese curse on him.