The scene is "Flanders in days of old," when an old miser mollifies his guilty conscience by living in continence with his wife. He would do anything for money, and indeed does, when a stranger appears who has the alchemist's touch. The wife welcomes the stranger into her arms and heart, and the miser gives her to him as a servant in return for more gold. Soon a beggar and a monk enter into league with the stranger, and we realize what is to happen. The stranger is, of course, billking the miser, and intends to substitute counterfeit coins for the miser's hoard, and run off with his wife. He not only accomplishes this, but he kills the beggar and monk and takes their share as well. The miser is left alone to face the justice of the mob, bereft of both wife and money.