The subject of this painting derives from a series of four watercolours done in 1939. In that series, Edgard Tytgat tells how four girls embark on an adventure on a boat. While at sea they fall into the hands of pirates, who sell them to a lord. He marries two of them, gives the third to his house steward as a gift and keeps the fourth for the festivities. The scene in the painting does not refer literally to any of the watercolours, but adds a scene to the story. Tytgat shows us the girls before they are abducted, exuberantly enjoying their freedom. The playful eroticism of this painting is an aspect of his work that is to be seen mainly in his watercolours as from the late 1930s.