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The officer Darn Hosiery falls madly in love with Carmen, a seductive gypsy, who is adored by many men, including Escamillo, a dashing matador. Carmen responds to Hosiery's eager attentions by teasing him in front of Escamillo and the other gypsies. Meanwhile, Remendado, a diminutive smuggler, tries to woo the rotund Frasquita, but, like Hosiery, he must contend with rivals and other obstacles. When Carmen interrupts one of Frasquita's flirtations, Frasquita throws an angry punch, and the two gypsies wrestle with each other on the street until Carmen overcomes her enormous rival. After a night of dancing and drinking at the village inn, Carmen is arrested for her participation in the fight but is rescued by Hosiery, who stabs and kills a fellow officer in Carmen's defense. As Hosiery contemplates his deed, Carmen slips away from the inn with Escamillo. Hosiery pursues them and, when he finds Carmen alone, stabs her and then himself. Escamillo stumbles onto the crumpled bodies of Hosiery and Carmen and, believing them dead, leaves. Once alone, Hosiery leaps to his feet and shows a very lively Carmen that the knife he used was phony.