One moment before she dies, the aged, philanthropic, and universally respected Duchess of Maldon sees her life flash before her. As Madge, a young gypsy woman, two men fight for her, after which the winner, John, forces her to marry him. Then Madge deserts John and begins a romance in England with Harold, the youngest son of the Duke of Maldon. Soon, however, Harold fights with his older brother, who has criticized the affair with a married woman, and, believing that he has killed his brother, Harold leaves Madge behind and smuggles himself out of the country. Years later, Harold, who has found out that his brother did not die, meets Madge once again, and, determined not to let him leave her a second time, Madge kills John so that she and Harold can marry. Successfully covering up past scandals, Madge and Harold begin a life so sedate and distinguished that they quickly become England's model couple.