Amsterdam, 1888: The exasperated violin maker Vedder has to leave the field when his house, located opposite Amsterdam's recently completed Central Station, has to make way for the planned Victoria Hotel. His overconfident cousin Anijs, pharmacist in Hoogeveen, has got himself into serious trouble due to illegal medical treatment and is looking for a way out, for himself and his wife Martha, but also for a group of poor peat cutters whom he promises a future in America. Passionate - or is it pride? - the two devise an extremely risky plan to get the most out of it. With tragic consequences.