Officer Zhilin served in the Caucasus. Once he receives a letter from his mother and decides to go away to rest in his native land. On the way, he meets an officer and two of them are caught by Tatars. The guilt of this situation was Kostylin, since he had to cover up Zilin, but, frightened by the Tatars, he immediately fled. And he showed himself as a traitor.
Tatars, that they were caught, sold them to other Tatars. Kostylina and Zhilin were long held in shackles in a barn. They were forced to write letters to relatives, asking them to buy them. After listening to the Tatars, Kostylin wrote a letter to his mother, and his former companion could not write such a letter, since his mother was a very poor old woman, and he wrote a similar letter to a non-existent address.
After a while, the owner’s daughter became very attached to Zhilin and began to feed him with cakes and milk, and Zhilin helped the girl, making dolls for her. After a little thought, the prisoners decided to escape from an involuntary life and slowly began to undermine. After they had finished, they ran away. But a little later, in the woods Kostylin began to whine that his legs hurt from boots. And through the fault of Kostylin they are noticed by a Tatar who immediately informed their master that they had started running and it was necessary to collect dogs to chase them. They are caught again, but living conditions worsen, and now they do not take off the shackles even at night, and the shed is replaced with a very deep pit.
Officer Zhilin does not despair and again builds an escape plan, the owner’s daughter brings him a stick, through which he was able to climb up. Kostylin, disillusioned and tired, refuses and remains in captivity in the pit. Going far from the village of the Tatars, he tries to remove the shackles, but from the design of the officer Zhilin nothing happens. Since the girl Diana had collected a few cakes for him, he ate a little, thinking about her and about how she was crying, saying goodbye. The pad very much hindered the officer, but he continued his journey.
When the last forces were running out, he began to creep, eventually he saw the field, behind which were his colleagues. Zhilin was very worried that Tatars could get caught in the eyes. And only he thought about this situation, how here as there appear three Tatars. But the Tatars did not have time to take him prisoner, since he started shouting loudly and the Cossacks heard him. Having arrived in time, they took Zilin to himself. The officer Zhilin understood that he was not letting his service home, it was not his fate to see his mother and to continue to serve his homeland. A traitor Kostylina a month was bought from the Tatars, a lot of money was spent, and they brought him barely alive.