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While traveling to Venice for her wedding to Prince Stefano, widowed duchess Lady Patrizia meets Lucio di Rialto, leader of a band of mercenaries. Later, Lucio returns a jewel that one of his men stole from her, and Patrizia invites him to a feast. Keller, one of Patrizia's neighbors, wants her money, and Lucio offers to protect the duchess from his advances. When Lucio is offered more money to side with Keller, he accepts, and the startled Patrizia accelerates her wedding plans, even though she is attracted to her former protector. Lucio is imprisoned after a second clash with his new master but escapes to rescue Patrizia's wedding party from an attack by Keller's forces. After he slays Keller in a duel, Lucio is reunited briefly with the duchess and admits to her that he could never adapt to her way of life. As he rejoins his men, Lucio finds solace with Katia, a woman who has always loved him.