Shaw describes the play as a religious tract in dramatic form. Blanco Posnet, the protagonist is wrongfully accused of horse-theft and sentenced to be hanged. By great good-fortune he is rescued by the testimony of a female witness, Feemy—the local harlot—for whom he has uncharacteristically performed an act of charity. His exoneration is spiritually transforming: His status changes abruptly from pariah to pillar of the community. He does not marry Feemy, but shakes hands with her before they part.