Erik, the son of Count Bille, and Eva, the winsome daughter of Lawson, the surveyor on his estate, are lovers. Count Bille is fond of worldly indulgences, but, at the same time, is quietly submissive to his sister, Ulrica, a termagant. The count, prompted by his sister, tries to effect an alliance between his son and Lady Vera Torp, daughter of his friend, but Erik has ideas of his own on the point and shows a marked preference for Eva. Aunt Ulrica observes Erik go off to meet Eva, and sends the count after him on horseback to put an end to their romance. Erik informs Eva of his father's plans and his determination not to submit to them, but as they are riding together along a country road they meet Eva's father, and he informs them that he has just left the count, who has forbidden the girl to meet his son again. The next day Lady Vera calls at the house, and the count and his sister contrive to leave Erik alone with her, in the hope that the plans for their union may mature. Instead...
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