Grogzwig was a baron who lived in an old castle in Germany. Strange sounds and light effects within the castle were blamed on the ghost of a traveler who had been murdered by one of the baron’s ancestors.
Grogzwig lived a life of pleasure, happily hunting and drinking with his friends every day. However, in time he grew weary of his companions and yearned for excitement. He decides to marry a fellow baron’s daughter. The daughter offers no resistance.
No sooner is he married than his wife demands that he send away his friends. This is the first of many demands, and gradually the baron becomes a hen-pecked husband. They have twelve children. One of the daughters is sickly, which is a source of constant anxiety to her mother.
Grogzwig’s wealth diminishes, and he has no money left when his wife brings their thirteenth child into the world. He decides to commit suicide.
He is reflecting upon his life while smoking his pipe for the last time. Suddenly, a wrinkled creature appears before him, identifying himself as the Genius of Despair and Suicide. This creature uses a stake that is driven through its heart as a cane. He is in a hurry for the baron to off himself, for there are many people who want to commit suicide in these times—and so the creature’s schedule is rather busy. In fact, there is a man who wants to kill himself because he has too much money. The baron thinks this is stupid, and the creature says that it is no more stupid that killing yourself for having a lack of money.
The baron suddenly realizes that the creature is right. He decides he doesn’t want to kill himself. Though he doesn’t die a rich man years later, he dies happy.
When the story concludes, the new coach has arrived.