Hortense Fauvel, the wife of a village postmaster, takes Aimée, a young shepherdess, under her wing. Aimée soon becomes engaged to François, the Fauvel’s loyal servant. At a fête hosted by the Count of Granval, Aimée gives her fiancé a knife, telling him that he should kill her if ever she ceases to be faithful to him. That same day, the Count is planning to have an amorous liaison with Hortense, but Aimée intervenes. To save her mistress from a scandal, Aimée tells the postmaster that it is she, not Hortense, who has been seeing the Count. Disgraced, Aimée is dismissed by the postmaster. François contemplates his revenge and recalls what Aimée said to him.