The title means "The last postillion (stage-coachman) of the St.Gotthard-pass". A company of select people joins the horse-driven coach for crossing the center of the Alps over the traditional path high on the mountain valley. It is the time of railways as the means of modernization. A tunnel is going to be built, Louis Favre is the heroic entrepreneur, who dies in it before being finished 1880.
The new fast way would render useless the small transport industry from which local people had made their living.
The great mountainous landscape is the background for the conflicts which arise between rich and poor, local traditionalists and foreign modernizers. The daughter of a local, who is opposed against the tunnel, would like to get engaged with a tunnel engineer, but is also coveted by a local favoured by her father ...
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