Rural France, the 1890s. Always in motion, Augustin wanders three times. First, as a youth, while a boarder near Bourges, he's lost in the woods and finds a chateau where an engagement party's in progress: there he falls eternally in love with Yvonne and she with him. Back at school, he hears she is in Paris, so he follows in a vain search and meets a woman, jilted by her lover. In the countryside a few year's later, Augustin's friend François finds Yvonne and brings Augustin to her. They marry, but the next day, Augustin leaves to fulfill a youthful promise he made to Yvonne's brother. François comforts the pregnant Yvonne as they await Augustin's return.