The story deals with the plans of the wicked Queen-Mother, Catherine de Medici, aimed at the political influence of Admiral Coligny, leader of the opposition party. She first arranges an attempt on the life of Coligny. The crime goes unavenged, and the Huguenots murmur at the death of their beloved leader. Catherine makes this the excuse for persuading her wretched son, Charles IX, to sign the order for their massacre. A wonderful scene shows the Queen-Mother obtaining the reluctant consent of the unhappy Charles. After the dreadful day is done, and the streets of Paris are deluged in blood, the king is haunted by the ghosts of the men, women and children who have fallen victims to a woman's thirst for vengeance.