* Anton Hofmiller, a young military officer with a strong dedication to proper behavior and honor, receives an invitation to dinner at the castle of wealthy landowner Herr von Kekesfalva.
* During dinner, Hofmiller meets Edith, Kekesfalva's 17-year-old daughter, and asks her to dance, causing the girl to sob uncontrollably.
* After she leaves, Kekesfalva's niece, Ilona, explains that Edith is crippled, a fact Hofmiller did not notice because she was seated behind a table with her legs hidden.
* Hofmiller flees the house before anyone can learn of his blunder.
* The following day, Hofmiller sends flowers and an apologetic note and is invited to tea with Edith and Ilona.
* All goes well until the time comes for Edith's exercises, and she flies into a rage, prompting her father to apologize to Hofmiller for her outburst.
* The following day, Hofmiller forces his men to trot rather than gallop...
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