The story starts in the 1930's at one of the largest rubber-tree plantations in Indochine (Vietnam). This plantation is owned by the French colonist Eliane, a proud woman who lives with her father and her native adoptive daughter Camille. She doesn't have a husband or a man in her life (apart from her father), but gets to know the young officer Jean-Baptiste when both want to buy the same painting at an auction. They have a short affair, but then she refuses to see him again. In the meantime it's Camille who has fallen in love with Jean-Baptiste and Eliane knows it. She makes sure he's sent to one of the most desolate outposts on some remote island, making sure that the two will never see each other again. Camille has no choice, but to marry the man she was promised to, but in the meantime she starts a search to find the man she really loves.