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A party on the Highland Tour comes upon a miserable hut hidden away among a patch of cliffs. Upon inquiring about what lies before them, the ladies hear the wretched tale of Elspat MacTavish, the Highland Widow, who is condemned forever to live penitent and alone. After the suppression of the Highland clans, the widow''s son, Hamish, sets off with honorable intentions of joining the coalition on its campaign against the French into America. But soon the unfortunate Hamish finds himself tricked by his own mother. The ensuing events produce a tragic ending made all the more pathetic by the unquenchable passion of a once-proud nation that continues to beat in the breast of one woman.