12-year old Toni is living with his mother and his dog at a river near a small village. Once, his grandfather was digging for gold in the river but was only ridiculed by his fellow villagers. In the tradition of his deceased grandfather, Toni also starts to search for gold in the river. But he gets constantly bullied by Hans, a mean farmer′s son, and his gang. Only Herbert and Elfie, two orphans, support "Toni Goldwascher" (Toni the gold panner). When the trio eventually finds real gold, Hans becomes more and more jealous and envious and the fierce conflict between the two boys finally leads to a night-time confrontation.