During Holy Week at the end of the eighteenth century, a count visits his Havana sugar mill on a day a slave has run away. The count tells his cruel overseer, Don Manuel, to pick 12 slaves who will be guests at the count's table. Don Manuel objects, but to no avail. The twelfth guest is the recaptured runaway. During the dinner, using religious analogies, the count lectures his guests on the perfect happiness possible in slavery. They in turn tell stories and make requests. He promises no work on Good Friday, but he leaves early that morning and Don Manuel rousts the slaves for a long day cutting cane. They rebel. Which side will the count take?