Chang slumbers, recalls how six years ago in China he met his current master, the captain. During this time, their fate changed abruptly: they no longer swim, live in the attic, in a large and cold room with low ceilings. The captain sleeps on the crushed bed, but Chang remembers what bed his master had before – a comfortable one, with drawers, with a soft bed. Chang dreamed of a dream, like his first owner, a Chinese, sold it to a captain for a puppy only for the whole. Chang was troubled all the way, and he saw neither Singapore, nor the ocean, nor Colombo, by which a steamboat sailed past.
Chang wakes up because somewhere below the door slams loudly. The captain gets up, takes a sip of vodka straight from the bottle, pours a little and Chang. The drunk dog sees a new dream about how his sea sickness passed, and he enjoyed the beautiful clear morning off the coast of Arabia. The captain called the dog to his cabin, fed him and suddenly started a conversation with Chang about what worried him. Then the captain tells Chang that he is taking him to Odessa, that his wife and daughter are waiting for him at home, whom he loves so much that he is afraid of his own love, but he considers himself to be a happy person. After a pause, the owner adds: “When you love someone, no one forces you to believe that the one whom you love can not love you.”
Chang wakes up and, like every day for the last two years, goes along with the captain to wander through restaurants and taverns, drink, have a snack, and look at other drunkards. Usually the captain is silent, but when he meets one of his old friends, he starts talking about the nonentity of life: “All this is a lie and nonsense, as if people live: they have no god, no conscience, no reasonable purpose of existence, no love, neither friendship, nor honesty, nor even mere pity. “
Chang again remembers how one night the captain brought him to his cabin. There were two portraits on the table-girls in curls and a slender, adorable young lady. The captain tells Chang that this woman will not love him: “There are, brother, female souls who are eternally tormented by some sad thirst for love and who from this never love anyone.” He tells how his wife gradually moved away from him, as he became more and more alone.
Chang wakes up and returns to monotonous nights and days with the captain, until one day he discovers his master dead. Chang loses a sense of reality from horror and comes to his senses only after a while at the church porch. From the church comes an artist, one of the former friends of the captain. He picks up the dog, and Chang becomes happy again, lying by the fireplace in the house of his third master. He continues to remember the captain. “If Chang loves and feels the captain, he sees him with a look of memory, that divine one that no one understands, that means, with him, the captain, in that endless and endless world that Death is not accessible.” In the world of this there must be only one truth – the third – and what she is, – that last Master knows about which the Chang will soon return. “