Jonkheer Axel van Hoogveld is a medical student who hopes that, as doctor, he can devote his life to the benefit of mankind. He is aware, however, that as his father was a victim of tuberculosis, he may himself be tuberculous. Odette van der Zee is the illegitimate daughter of an epileptic mother.
One day, while walking in a park in The Hague, Axel and Odette meet and are immediately attracted to each other. Odette often visits Axel and, while sedately drinking tea together, the two young people fall in love. However, of late Axel has not been feeling well. He coughs a lot and spits blood. When he examines his sputum under a microscope, he realises that he suffers from the sickness that killed his father. Axel decides it will be better not to see Odette again, as he does not wish to sacrifice her young life. He sends her a letter in which he explains his decision. In the meantime Odette has discovered the truth about her parentage and seen that, late at night, her mother is visited by "gentlemen". Odette determines that she will lead a good life. After leaving church one morning, she meets Axel's friend Lou. As she wants to hear about Axel, she accepts Lou's invitation to drink a glass of wine at his home. There she drinks too much champagne... The next morning, as she leaves Lou's house, she knows that she has broken the promise she made to herself. Lou tells Axel about his seduction of Odette. The young man, already mortally ill, is shocked by the story, suffers a sudden collapse and dies.
It is only after some time that Odette hears of Axel's death. She rushes to the cemetery, but the gates are closed. As she no longer has any respect for her mother and is disappointed in her first pure love, Odette plunges herself into the life of a demi-mondaine, accepting the attentions of a man she despises... as she was, alas, predestined to do.
- Esquire Axel van Hoogveld
- Odette van der Zee
- Odette's mother
- Leo, a friend of Axel
- Colette, a demi-mondaine
- Willem, Axel's manservant
G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), pp. 196-197