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The great love of widower Wu Li Chang, a man of considerable culture, wealth and power in China, is his daughter Nang Ping, who, following tradition, has been promised in marriage to a mandarin. Ridiculing her father's vigilance, Nang Ping escapes from his palace and falls in love with Alfredo Gregory, an English gentleman, who wants to marry her. When Wu discovers this, he feels compelled to sacrifice the lives of the two lovers to appease the gods. With a broken heart, he kills his beloved daughter and, determined to fulfill the divine command, arranges a meeting with Gregory's mother, who offers her own life in place of her son's. Prepared to kill herself, she pours a powerful poison into a cup of tea which she will drink in Mr. Wu's presence. However, suspecting that she is trying to kill him, Wu switches his tea with hers and dies in horrible pain.