In 1840, a young Russian aristocrat, Dimitri Sanin, is returning home after a long tour of Europe. In Germany, he falls in love with a beautiful pastry shop girl, Gemma Rosselli, who soon starts sharing his feelings. They decide to get married and, in order to finance the wedding, Dimitri goes back to Russia to sell his family estate. Unfortunately he falls prey to a seductress, Princess Maria Nikolaevna, who pretends to be willing to buy his land to come nearer him. Now Sanin is in a fix: should he choose the pure Gemma or the evil but irresistible Maria?