Guizhi and heryounger brother, Baotong,are the children of horse merchant Li Qi. Their stepmother,Sanchun, has an affair while their father is away selling horses in Xiling. When the adulterers try to kill the brother and sister, Guizhi flees and is fortunate enough to be taken in by Liu and his wife. Later on, Guizhimeets Zhao Chong and falls in love with him.
When Guizhi’s father finally returns, his wife lies to him, saying that both his children drowned accidentally. Afraid to tell the truth, the maid Chunhua hangs herself, and the adulterers seize the opportunity to accuseLi of murder. They bribe the county magistrate, who then sends Li to prison. With her husband,Chong, fresh from passing the imperial examination and obtaining an appointment as magistrate of BaochengCounty, Guizhi goes to see her father in prison in hopes that his innocence can be proven.
Chong advises his wife to disguise herself and go with him to file a complaint to the new inspector general, who turns out to be none other than her brother, Baotong. He meets Guizhi at the court of law and learns about his father’s situation. Reunited with his family, Baotong vows to arrest the sinful adulterers and prove the innocence of his father. An ingenious trick devised by his sister gives Sanchun, the stepmother, the illusion that the maid’s ghost has come to claim her life, which frightens the adulteress into admitting to her crimes. The whole family of Li Qi is happily reunited.