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In 1500, the citizens of Pisa are subjected to unjust taxes, which are collected by Capt. Raniero d'Anversa. His men murder a prominent banker, and the banker's son, Luca de Bardi, vows revenge. Posing as an artist during the day, he sketches the beautiful Laura Lanfranchi, d'Anversa's fiancée; at night, Luca dons a mask and red cloak and attacks d'Anversa's men one by one. Eventually he is captured and sentenced to death. Laura gets help from the Grand Duke, however, and Luca is set free on the way to his execution. He then challenges d'Anversa to a duel to the death on the Tower of Pisa. Luca wins both the duel and Laura's affection.