A young girl with a sonorous name Apollinary Vikhrova comes after school in Moscow to study. Her mother stayed there, on the Yenge, in the Pashutinsky forestry, but her father was a professor in the capital, a specialist in the forest. Only to see him, Paul does not want: every now and then he whips Ivan Vikhrov in the forest magazines for constantly telling him about the need for correct forest management, about the inadmissibility of solid felling. It fences the forest from its legitimate owner – the Russian people. Such theories are contrary to the interests of socialist construction. Numerous harsh articles hint at the political underpinnings of Vikhrov’s scientific views, and Polya, a convinced Komsomol member, hates his father in absentia as the enemy of a new life. By the way, one of the loud articles is written by one author. His name is Gratian.
Once Gratsiansky and Vikhrov studied together at the Forest Institute and even were inseparable companions, despite the difference in social status: Vikhrov, a peasant son, Gratsiansky came from a wealthy family of a professor at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. Gratsiansky’s brilliant scientific career began with the trampling of a prominent forest theorist Tulikov, a Vikhrov teacher, and the dispute with Vikhrov himself continued. After every major work of Vikhrova, the forest society now awaits a raznous article of Gratiansky, although some people confidently argue that the abusive masterpieces of Gratiansky do not make a contribution to a great science.
So, Paul comes to Moscow and stops at a friend and countrywoman Vary Chernetsova. He walks around Moscow, goes to his father, to tell him honest Komsomol judgment about people of this kind, but finds only his father’s sister, his aunt Taisia Matveyevna.
… The same night, German aircraft drop the first bombs on the sleeping Soviet cities.
In the light of the unfavorable reports from the front of Gratiansky’s allegation, the Field seems especially ominous. Especially with a personal acquaintance in the bomb shelter Gratsiansky adds to the biography of her father completely deadly details: Vikhrov all the years of study received from an unidentified person a grant of $ 25. In the years of impoverishment of the proletariat, this benefactor was certainly not a worker – the conclusion is clear from here. Fields in horror, tearing to go to the district committee to tell everything. Varya suggests that she instead go to Vikhrov’s introductory lecture.
Having listened to the inspired story about the fate of the Russian forest, Polya feels the weariness of victory and the triumph of purity. Now she is not ashamed to look at the belligerent soldiers in the face, including Rodion, her former classmate, friend and beloved. Returning home, she learns that Varya is sent to the rear of the enemy. “You have a Komsomol ticket under the pillow… think about it more often – this will teach you to do great things,” the girlfriend instructs Apollinaria in parting.
After conducting Varya, Polya goes to the district committee to ask for the front. She also has one more cherished desire – to visit Red Square on the October holiday.
From time to time, Poly meets with her aunt Taisa, from which the story of her parents’ lives is gradually being revealed. At the end of the Forest Institute her father worked in his homeland, in Pashutinsky forestry. The farm with him became exemplary. There he began his fruitful scientific work. There he resumed his acquaintance with Elena Ivanovna, whom she had seen in her childhood. Lenochka lived on the rights either as a prizhivalka or as a girl in the Sapegin manor who was planted her in infancy. To Vihrov she believed her fears: she was afraid that when the insurgent people executed their oppressors and went to burn Sapegino, she would also kill her. I felt like a stranger...to the people, far from him and could not find my place in life. From uncertainty I agreed to marry Ivan Matveyevich, who loved her passionately. The young people left for Moscow, since Vikhrov, as a promising scientist who had published a number of notable works by that time, was transferred to the Forestry Institute. Apollinaria was born. And when her daughter was three years old, Elena Ivanovna, unable to bear the duality of her life any more, returned from her unloved husband to the Pashutinsky forest district and began to work there in the hospital. Shortly thereafter, Ivan Matveyevich received the adopted son Seryozha: he had been thrown by a deceased childhood friend Demid Zolotukhin. This was partially filled with oppressive emptiness, formed during the disintegration of the family. returned from an unloved husband to the Pashutinskoye lesnichestvo and began working there in the hospital. Shortly thereafter, Ivan Matveyevich received the adopted son Seryozha: he had been thrown by a deceased childhood friend Demid Zolotukhin. This was partially filled with oppressive emptiness, formed during the disintegration of the family. returned from an unloved husband to the Pashutinskoye lesnichestvo and began working there in the hospital. Shortly thereafter, Ivan Matveyevich received the adopted son Seryozha: he had been thrown by a deceased childhood friend Demid Zolotukhin. This was partially filled with oppressive emptiness, formed during the disintegration of the family.
For Poli, as well as for her mother, there is no price, no matter how much she paid the right to face the people. And since wartime demands from everyone the greatest moral purity, it tries to obtain the ultimate truth about Wichrove and Gratiansky. The case helps her to learn about the moral uncleanness of the latter: as a bachelor, Gratsiansky had a daughter, but did not recognize paternity and did not help materially.
During the parade on the Red Square, Polya gets acquainted with the military doctor Strunnikov, who takes her to work in his hospital nurse. At the same time, her stepbrother Sergei Vikhrov, whom she had never seen, went to the front as an assistant to an armored train driver.
The commissar of the armored train Morshchikhin is interested in the revolutionary movement among the St. Petersburg youth before the February revolution. Talking with the witnesses of those years, Vyhrov and Gratsiansky, he learns about the then existing provocateur organization “Young Russia”. Nobody, except Gratsiansky, does not know that this thread is even further: it was Graziansky who was associated with the secret police, and in particular, betrayed his comrades Vikhrov and Krainov. Gratsiansky does not know the degree of awareness of Morshchikhin and in mortal fear awaits exposure. Morshchikhin has no facts. Nevertheless, he begins to suspect the truth, but the armored train is sent to the front. Talk about all the information he can now only with Sergei.
The fighting is just in the vicinity of Polina’s native Pashutinsky forest district, and she is sent as a local native with an intelligence mission to the enemy’s rear. But it falls into the hands of the fascists and, unable to withstand lies, utters a speech exposing them as enemies of a new life. The confluence of incredible circumstances allows her to escape, and in the woods she stumbles upon Sergei Vikhrov, who took part here on his armored train in one combat operation. They are found by Soviet intelligence, they are treated in the same hospital – this is their acquaintance.
Upon his return to Moscow, Polya goes to Gratsiansky and splashes ink into his face in contempt. Gratsiansky sees this as a revelation. Soviet troops are on the offensive, and Vikhrov has a long-awaited opportunity to go to Pashutino. He visits his ex-wife and finds her, Sergei, Paul and Rodion. In conversation, he reports one insignificant news: Gratsiansky committed suicide, drowning in an ice hole.