In China, a tailor and his wife invite a hunchback over for a festive meal. However, during the meal, he chokes on a piece of fish. The panicking couple leave the body at the house of a Jewish doctor and run away. The doctor comes out, stumbles over the body and believes he's killed him, so he leaves the body at his neighbor's house. His neighbor, who is in charge of the king's kitchens, thinks the hunchback is a thief, beats him, and upon realizing that he's dead, thinks he's killed him. He leaves the body propped up in an alleyway, where a drunk Christian also mistakes him for a thief and hits him. The police intervene, thinking the Christian murdered the hunchback, and the Christian has scheduled to hang whereupon the man in charge of the kitchens, the doctor, and the tailor finally come forward.
The four men are sent to the king, and each tells a story.
- The Nazarene Broker's Story
- The Reeve’s Tale
- The Tale of the Jewish Doctor
- The Tale of the Tailor
- The Barber's Story of Himself
However, it is then revealed that the hunchback was alive all along, and after having the fishbone removed from his throat by the barber, he is fine.