It is shortly after the war in the early nineteen fifties, close to the Rhine in central Holland. A lonely count by the name of Waldonck, a widower in his seventies, molders away in double-moated Waayenborgh Castle. He is the sole remaining member of a proud and wealthy aristocratic family. The decline of the nobility’s influence on society has taken on a toll on the family’s status. Where once there were over a hundred attendants on staff running the estate and serving the family’s needs, only six remain. The watchful tax collectors are eager to liquidate the count’s assets to pay the very high taxes. In order to brighten his twilight years, the count invites a young couple to take a few rooms within the castle’s thick walls. Anno de Weerd is a recent graduate, an ambitious musician bent on a career as a pianist. His fiancée, Barbara, raised in Britain, urges Anno to accept the count’s invitation, since the couple is virtually penniless. Unlimited use of the count’s music room and Steinway grand piano make the offer even more attractive. As the couple warm to their host and his inviting home, they become aware of the secretive count’s obsessions with the turbulent past. The attractions and pleasures of country life seem to awaken only unhappy memories. Something unnamed, a remnant of his former life, seems to be gnawing at him. As the fireside conversations stretch into the night, the secrets of the past are slowly revealed.