Karl Åge and Regitze host a summer garden party for close friends, their son, and his family. Karl Åge is quiet, detached; Regitze is spirited, lively. He thinks back: love at first sight during the war, living together unmarried, her mother's hunger strike when they won't baptize their son. Regitze is passionate and forthright; she speaks her mind. He remembers her inviting a derelict for Christmas dinner, and the man shows up with five bashful friends. He recalls her taking on their son's teacher when the man slaps the lad. He remembers her love of dancing and his fear that his social clumsiness might end their relationship. Now, in twilight, he has other things to face.