Pedro, a simple mountain shepherd, dreams of marriage. The local landowner, Sebastiano, arrives with his mistress, Marta, As he has decided to marry a rich girl, he orders Marta to marry Pedro, who agrees to leave the mountains for life in the village below.
The village girls gossip about Marta's marriage. Sebastiano, meanwhile, tells the unhappy Marta that he expects her to continue as his mistress after her marriage. After the wedding Pedro lovingly gives Marta a silver coin, which he received from Sebastiano when lie killed a wolf with his bare hands. Marta, though touched, insists they sleep in separate rooms. But when she sees a signal that Sebastiano is in her room, she stays with Pedro.
The next day Tommaso, the wise old man of the village, advises Marta to tell her husband the truth. Pedro, teased by the village girls who know Sebastiano has made a fool of him, decides to return to the mountains. But Marta, now in love with him, begs him to take her with him and admits that she has been Scbastiano's mistress. When Sebastiano, whose marriage has been called off, returns for Marta he is challenged by Pedro, who strangles him.