The plot unfolds near the Lake Geneva in the Chillon Castle, which served as a prison. The story is conducted on behalf of the prisoner, the eldest of six brothers. Five of his close relatives have already died, two of whom could not stand the conclusion in the underground chamber, which was in the castle below the lake level.
In the dungeon was so much moisture that moss appeared on the walls, and a ray of light only occasionally illuminated the room. Prisoners were chained with iron chains to the walls, which also brought physical suffering. Because of the darkness, brothers can not see each other, but the elder tries to at least words to support their relatives so that they do not lose courage. The strongest seemed to be an average brother, for whom no hardship or even a lack of
Without brothers, the prisoner feels like a cold stone. Suddenly in the dark he hears the singing of a bird, it seems to him that this brother’s soul has flown to him from paradise and is singing about his imminent release. After this event, the strict prison regime was facilitated, and the prisoner was allowed to move along the walls with a chain around his neck. But this did not bring him joy, because he lost his loved ones, so he also wants to die. The prisoner could look out through the window and saw a small island among the lake, on which only two or three trees could grow.
A boat with people swam up to the shore, and in the sky he saw a flying bird. The freedom he saw further upset the prisoner. He lost count of days and years. One day a long-awaited day came when he was released. But the prisoner has become so accustomed to the dungeon that the acquisition of the will did not make him happy.