The Seafarer opens as Sharky Harkin has returned home at Christmastime to take care of his brother, Richard. Richard is a freewheeling soul, but he is also an overbearing alcoholic. He has recently gone blind. He lives to drink, and he urges Sharky to drink as well, even though Sharky has promised himself he would remain sober for the holidays. The brothers and two of their friends gather on Christmas Eve for a game of poker, and one of the friends brings a newcomer, the elegantly dressed Mr. Lockhart. Mr. Lockhart, it turns out, is the Devil himself, come to bargain for Sharky’s soul. Sharky wins the battle and realizes he must move forward with his life or be trapped in hell.