Maldone is a canal worker, happy with his life after running away from his family estate. He falls in love with Zita, a young gypsy girl, during a local fete. However, after his brother dies, Maldone is called back to manage the estate. There, he takes up the life of a landowner and marries a neighbor's daughter. Years later Maldone is still restless on the estate, and becomes obsessed with Zita, after meeting her by chance one evening.