The action takes place in Saint-Malo, at the end of the 17th century, in the dwelling of Legoëz, which overlooks the sea. Eight years ago, Pierre left home at the age of ten to be a pirate. His grandfather Legoëz and cousin Janik -- who loves him -- have long hoped that he would return. Years later a fellow pirate comes to the house of Legoëz inquiring about Pierre and bringing some of his things. Both the fellow pirate, Jacquemin, and Marie-Anne, the daughter-in-law of François Legoëz, feel that Pierre must be dead. In an effort to spare Legoëz the bad news, Jacquemin agrees to pretend to be Pierre. However, trouble ensues when miraculously Pierre returns.