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In 1865, Timothée, a tramp who claims to be deaf-mute, appears in a village in the south of France. He used to live in the nearby woods and mountains. He asks for hostage in Doctor Hughes*s house, who lives with his daughter, Joséphine. Timothée makes himself understandable using gestures and writing. He makes strange forecasts. Joséphine is at first impressed and attracted by the appearance of the young man who stays overnight, before he leaves the village the next morning. One day, when the young girl is alone in the house, Timothée suddenly returns. He hypnotizes Joséphine and rapes her. When she regains consciousness, she stays hypnotized beyond Timothée*s spell, so that when he edges off, she head-over-heels leaves her father*s home and follows the man for whom she feels nothing more but fear and scorn.