Rebel forces searching for Queen Elisabetta, who is trying to escape to safety, have stopped a bus, forcing the passengers to disembark. The military interpreter who interrogates them recognizes the prostitute Argia as his former mistress but now wants nothing to do with her. Argia realizes that a peasant woman is the Queen and denounces her to the rebel chief Commissar Amos. When the Queen tells Argia of the ordeals she has endured, Argia takes pity on her and helps her to escape, and is then suspected by Amos of being the Queen herself. She explains that her superior manner is her response to a life of humiliation. The summoned interpreter refuses to recognize her, and the peasant woman, the real Queen, commits suicide.