Daniel Cajanus lies in his custom-made bed in the Proveniershuis in Haarlem. He has pain in his bones and does not want to exhibit himself anymore. By a double dose of medication he slips away in a daze and he sees fragments of his life passing by.
We discover why he left Finland and how he came into contact with London and Paris in Amsterdam with the couple Metz. Jan Hendrik Metz owns, next to cafés in Amsterdam and Haarlem, a Menagerie full of exotic animals in Amstedam and wants to add Cajanus to his collection. Because Metz promises to reward him richly, Cajanus agrees. Cajanus turns out to be a true crowd puller and Metz smells even more money.
He wants to add the Frisian dwarf Wybrand Lolkes to his collection and lends money from the wealthy Cajanus for that. Wybrand is the polar opposite of Cajanus in everything. When Anna Metz tries to find a suitable marriage candidate for Cajanus, Wybrand does not understand that Cajanus holds off.
Back in the Proveniershuis Cajanus again asks for ether. But then he starts hallucinating and accidentally reveals the bizarre secret that he has been carrying with him for years …
When Cajanus dies, everyone has their own thoughts about the giant of Haarlem. His funeral is his last performance. The whole of Haarlem has been drawn out to see the meter-long coffin.