Albert Herbin and Madame Dravet meet each other one Christmas Eve in the Parisian suburbs. They immediately hit it off and confide in each other. She is Italian; her marriage to Jérome Dravet has been a disaster because it was immediately obvious he was not the father of the daughter born early into the marriage. He split from the family and only returns to insult his wife and her child. Herbin talks about happier years, now over. They continue the evening in Madame Dravet's apartment, then at Herbin's. Love, or perhaps simply desire, already ties them to each other. But, when they go to Madame's apartment, they discover her husband's corpse. It would seem that he's killed himself. When Madame Dravet wants to call the police, Albert wrenches the phone from her hands. He then confesses he's been lying. Those happy years he'd talked about, well, he'd spent them in prison for killing the woman who wanted to leave him. If the police find him there, they'll suspect he's the murderer. He leaves, but strange details slowly begin to take shape in Madame Dravet's mind, remarks that reveal incomprehensible facts.