Act 1: A fair in Jalhay, summer, August 1870
A band plays from morning until late at night. 24-year-old Marie Solheid watches the hustle and bustle. Here, one or the other may find their great love or at least a future husband. Marie has no ambitions and no interest to dance, when suddenly a man, François Reiff enters the Scene and asks her to dance. It is love at first sight. Under the roar of a rising thunderstorm, Marie agrees to marry him. The thundering of the weather changes into a scream.
Act 2: Café Mixhe in Jalhay, 21 January 1871 a sunny, ice cold winter day
Marie and François have planned to meet in Café Mixhe in the morning to pick up Marie‘s wedding papers in Xhoffraix. Marie‘s brother Lambert works as a waiter in the café.
François is late. Lambert tries to dissuade Marie from the idea of travelling through the snow in the High Fens.
When François appears, Lambert can’t change their decision. Blinded by love, they do not want to wait any longer. Lambert exhorts them to provide at least some provisions. They don‘t listen to him and leave. As they depart, Lambert notices an eerie cold. It becomes clear to him that another force is now in charge.
Act 3: The Way
It is snowing in the High Fens. The goddess of the weather, guardian of snow and ice, enjoys the cold and waits impatiently for the arrival of the enamoured couple. Marie and François reach the entrance of the High Fens and are enchanted by the beauty of the white moor.
They enter the untouched snow-covered area and romp in the snow. But under the ice there is a deadly danger.
Act 4: The Storm
The goddess of weather manifests herself in the High Fens. She rages and lets the
snowflakes dance, which condense to an icy snowstorm. The moor becomes menacing for those who get lost at this time of the year. The landscape has lost its loveliness and has turned into a deadly trap. The couple suddenly has some doubts about their plan. It is too late for a return. Blind and frightened, they sink into the mass of snow until the weather separates them from each other. Proudly, the goddess of the weather stands in front of François. She has great plans for him, if he only knew! In faith, to save his beloved, François makes a decision. Now the weather knows no mercy; neighter for desperate Marie, who fights for her life with hope and love, nor for François.
The Goddess of weather seeks her revenge and cruelly demands sacrifice.
Act 5: 2 months later. Start of spring
The snow has melted. The air is warm and the first spring flowers cover the bog. Lambert, gone mad because of the loss of his sister, is wandering through the snow-covered High Fens and calls Marie’s name.
An inconspicuous figure offers him consolation, but Lambert recognises the coldness of the murderess. He decides to plant a cross for Marie and François, as
a sign and a memorial for all who underestimate the weather in this region. The bitter fate of François and Marie and their union on this place, even today draws many visitors to “The Cross of the Engaged”.