The Marquis des Arcis is a fickle man. His reputation as a womanizer precedes him wherever he goes. That’s why Madame de la Pommeray, a wealthy and attractive widow, rejects his advances when he comes to stay as a long-term houseguest. However, he continues to woo her over the next six months, professing his love and swearing he’s ready for monogamy.
She takes him at his word and finally gives in to his advances. Over the next few years, she believes him to be faithful, even when he goes away on business trips. However, when an old friend reports there is gossip in their circle suggesting otherwise, Madame decides to test her lover.
She tells the Marquis she no longer has feelings for him, hoping he’ll protest, but instead, he agrees that their relationship is over, saying he wants to stay good friends. She pretends to be fine with that, but feeling scorned, she actually plans to get revenge.