Old Félix, a prosperous land owner in Haute Provence, will be expropriated because a dam is being built on the River Durance and his estate is to be flooded. He receives thirty million francs in compensation but dies soon after. Hortense, his only daughter, inherits the money but the trouble is that Félix has hidden the loot somewhere and it is nowhere to be found. All of Hortense's next of kin suddenly take an interest in the "poor orphan" and those greedy ones - with the exception of kind-hearted uncle Simon - put pressure on the girl, and try - through wile, threat and even murder, to inveigle her inheritance. But however young and frail Hortense is, she is nobody's fool.
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