The work has a subtitle “A Tale of a Girl”. The writer shows three stages in her life: staying in the parental home, the war period and her future after the war. The main character of the story is Olga Zotova, daughter of an Old Believer merchant, who lived in Kazan. At night they were attacked, made a fire and killed their parents. Olya was rescued. She saw the killer, Brykin’s Boots. The girl was treated in the hospital, where she met Yemelyanov, the commander of the Reds. Began to equip the bears, the murderer makes a denunciation of Zotov. Olga is in prison for a couple of months. The Reds proceeded to the city, so the prisoners were shot. Val’ka shot at Olya. She is rescued by Emelyanov and finds a devoted doctor.
Having fallen in love with a cavalryman, she goes to war with him. She is taken by news in his regiment. Emelianov and a few other fighters, not sparing their lives, remove the barrage from the bridge. The girl continues the work of her beloved. In the battle, Olga Vyacheslavovna was wounded. After the amendment, Zotova returns to the battlefield, visiting the whole country until the end of the war.
Olga had to find a position and she began to work in the organization of a “paper lady”. Being quite young, twenty-two years old, Ole had to start a new life again. She lived in a communal apartment. The girl suffered bullying from colleagues and neighbors. She was given the nickname of a viper. Olga Vyacheslavovna fell in love for the second time. Her elected director was the director of the Makhorochny Trust. But envious people blackened Zotov before the man, so he pushed her away, and he married his neighbor, the secretary Lyalechka, who turned out to be a brawler.
Indignant because of the attention of that to her husband, she came to Olga Vyacheslavovna. The young wife showed her a certificate of marriage. There was a terrible scream. Angry, Olga shot several times from the revolver in the face of the opponent. She voluntarily came to the police, confessed to her deed and intended to kill herself, but she was stopped.
In one of the editions of the story she ends with a trial of Zotova Olga Vyacheslavovna, but the author allows the readers to make her own sentence.