The 1880s. Abandonded by his middle class parents in Stockholm, Johannes grows up in the countryside with a cobbler who regularly beats him up. Also at school he has to face regular beatings because of his Stockholm background, the only one who cares for him is a girl, Lotta, who promises to marry him one day. When he's 20 he moves to Stockholm and joins the Royal guards at the Royal palace. Quite by accident he meets Lotta again and start an affair with her.