Seventeen-year-old pioneer Seva Shcheglov lives in the Altai state farm since the day of its foundation. He remembers how his parents huddled in a snow-covered tent and raised virgin lands. Now their state farm is considered the best in the Altai. This summer, Seve sing a ticket to “Artek”. The boy understands that he is not worthy of such an honor. He writes a lot and gives people accurate but offensive nicknames. So, he calls his classy “Goddess of Sabaoth”: she, like the ancient god of hosts, is united in three persons – a pioneer leader, teacher and editor-in-chief of the newspaper. However, the boy can not abandon the trip. Seva has a secret goal – to find a father.
Once Seva’s parents lived in Moscow. After graduating from the institute, the boy’s mother went to the virgin soil as a livestock specialist. My father worked for a while in the state farm as a chauffeur, and then returned to Moscow, leaving his wife and little son. Mother told Seva that his father was a braggart, he never fulfilled his promises, severely failed his friends several times, and considered himself “a poetic nature.” Nevertheless, Seva wants to meet with him. Learning that on the way to “Artek” will be a transplant in Moscow, the boy decides to escape and find his father.
There is a big group of guys on the train with Sevoy. They are accompanied by counselor Natasha. She is so vigilant that Seva calls her “Detective” to herself. At one of the stops, Seva wants to send a telegram to his father, but Natasha is always near, and the boy does not dare to do it. At the station stand he buys a gift to his father – a clay vase with two bright cocks.
In Moscow it turns out that there are several free hours between the transplants. Natasha leads the detachment to walk. On the station square, Seva pretends to have a lace untied, falls behind the guys and sits down on the first bus that got there. He does not buy a ticket – he does not have a trifle, only a three ruble note. This is noticed by the woman-controller and begins to resent: with luggage, and did not pay for the ticket. She is going to fine Seva, but then the bus driver intervenes and lets go of the boy.
Seva finds a dead end where his father lives, but there is no necessary home. The old man sitting on a bench in the park, tells the boy that the house has been demolished, and advises to find out the address in the information desk. Having made an application, the boy returns to the square, but the familiar old man has already left. Instead, sitting on a bench is a sad girl. Seva tells her about the beauties of Altai and agitates to come to their state farm. This is the request of the chairman: everyone who travels to the West should bring a man with him. Here comes... the guy with whom the girl quarreled, and chases the “agitator.”
Seva finds a dead end where his father lives, but there is no necessary home. The old man sitting on a bench in the park, tells the boy that the house has been demolished, and advises to find out the address in the information desk. Having made an application, the boy absently enters the middle of the carriageway. From around the corner a taxi jumps out, abruptly turns off, strikes a pole and rips off the paint from the wing. An angry chauffeur grabs Seva by the collar. He intends to force his parents to pay for repairs. The chauffeur does not bother that Seva is from the Altai. He takes three rubles from the boy and takes him to the garage so that the manager will write an official letter to his parents. The driver is so greedy that he does not want to go empty and takes passengers. All people Seva met on that day agitate to go to the Altai, and says that he is looking for his father. This is the request of the chairman: everyone who travels to the West should bring a man with him. Listening to Seva, the driver is grim and angry. In the end, he surrenders, gives Seva a “trash”, sends for ice cream, and he leaves, leaving a vase on the sidewalk.
Seva gets to her father at the address received at the information desk. Father is not at home, and the boy decides to wait in the yard, where he meets a boy-peer. He knows Uncle Misha, Seven’s father, and undertakes to introduce them. Coming soon Uncle Misha does not pay attention to a stranger and disappears in an apartment. Seva can not just walk up and tell him who he is. The boy wants to talk first with his father alone. Then the new friend calls his girlfriend-honors pupil, and she comes up to enter Uncle Misha’s apartment under the pretext of collecting paper for recycling. In his father’s apartment Seva is once again attacked by shyness. He writes a note on a scrap of newspaper, throws it in a vase, puts a vase in the corner and leaves with the guys. Uncle Misha notices the vase and calls Seva through the window. The boy comes back alone, they talk. Father learns that Seva from Altai, and begins to recall the past, exposing himself as a virgin hero. Seva does not find in the stories of his father a word of truth. The boy becomes “bored and bored,” and he leaves, never having opened his father. Vasu Seva leaves new friends to meet them again on the way back.
Seva has time for the train to Artek. In the car he thinks about his father, about his unfulfilled dreams. Then he remembers – my father mentioned that he was going to return. At Seva, hope awakens. Father for him as a faint light in the steppe, and one day he will reach it.