Herman Koorders is the youthful head of a flourishing banking business. By chance he meets Greta Rikkers, a simple milliner who lives with her younger sister Jeanne and their crippled father from the old man's meagre pension and the little money both girls earn. Herman makes a deep impression on Greta, who wants to enjoy a carefree life and lets him persuade her to leave home, in spite of Jeanne's prayers and her father's curse.
Herman and Greta live in luxury and their happiness is increased by the birth of a son. However, when risky speculations threaten to ruin the bank, Fransen, the chief book-keeper, advises Herman to marry money. Seeing this as the only means to retrieve the situation, Herman leaves Greta and starts courting Marie van Borselen, a wealthy orphan whom he has met at a party given by her aunt. Before long, Herman and Marie get married and live in the wife's sumptuous villa. Greta resumes work as a milliner and lives in a humble cottage. The money Herman sends she saves for their little boy; for herself she will accept nothing from the man who deserted her.
But once again the bank is in difficulties and bankruptcy is imminent unless huge deposits are paid. For Herman an even greater catastrophe comes when he accidentally hears that his son is seriously ill. He hurries to Greta's home and there is told that the child has died as a result of brain fever. Marie, having noticed Herman's nervousness, has followed her husband and is a witness of his anguish. From Greta she hears everything about the illicit love affair and Herman's shameful deceit.
Such is Marie's love for Herman that she is prepared to save his reputation once more. With the last of her fortune she will pay Herman's debts, but thereafter she can no longer be his "little goldfish". If he really loves her he must prove this by working for her. Astonished by the overwhelming proof of her love, Herman accepts Marie's offer. Together they will start a new life in some distant place.
- Fransen, chief bookkeeper
- Greta Rikkers
- Old Rikkers
- Marie van Borselen
- Small child of Greta and Herman
- Dr. Van Berkel
- Mrs. Van Borselen, Marie's aunt
- Herman Koorders
G. Donadson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), pp. 182-183
Catalogus van Filmwerken - H.A.P. & BenS Film Comp., Den Haag (1923), p. 58