“The smoking-room is alive…” – Cola cries to friends who came to see if he died from the plague. But no, Cola Bryunnon, “an old sparrow of Burgundian blood, full of spirit and belly, no longer the first youth, half-century knocked, but strong,” is not going to leave his beloved land and still revels in life, even finds it “more savory, than before “. Cola is a carpenter, he has a house, a quarrelsome wife, four sons, a beloved daughter and the adored granddaughter of Glodi. Armed with a chisel and chisel, he stands in front of a workbench and makes furniture, decorating it with intricate patterns. A true artist. Cola hates greyness and vulgarity, each of his products is a real work of art. Having done a good job, Bruignon willingly pays tribute to the old Burgundy and delicious food. Cola enjoys every day he has lived, he lives in harmony with himself and also tries to live with the whole world. But alas! the latter is just not always possible. Recently, the good King Henry IV died in France, his son Louis is still small, and the Dowager Queen Regency Maria Medici, along with her favorite Italians, ruled the country. The enmity between Henry and Henry between the Catholics and the Huguenots broke out with renewed vigor. “Let everyone live in our France and does not interfere with living another!” – considers Cola. He agrees with all the gods and is ready to drink a barrel
Spring comes, and old man’s heart whines again – he can not forget his youthful love, red-haired beauty Selina. He was not the only one in love with this arguing for work and a sharp tongue-tied girl, nicknamed Laska. It was then necessary to Cola even to measure his strength with his best friend, but in vain: went to a brisk little Bosch fat mill. After many, many years, Cola goes to look at his little girl. And although she is already an old woman, in the eyes of Bryunion she is beautiful, as before. Only now does Cola know that she loved him more than anyone else in the world, but she was stubborn, so she married another. But you can not restore the past… But will Kolya “sulk at life like an old fool, because this is not so? Everything is good, as it is.” What I do not have, well, to hell with it! “
In summer, in the town of Klamsi, near which Kola lives, an epidemic of plague breaks out. Brühnon sends the family to the village, and he himself remains to eat, drink and have fun with friends, confident that the plague will pass his house side. But one day he discovers in his presence the signs of a terrible illness. Fearing that his house would be burnt, like all houses where the plague was visited, Kola, having captured his favorite books, moves to a hut in his vineyard. Kol’s love of life, the healing power of the earth conquer the disease, Cola recovers. “The chicken is alive…”
In the village at this time, the plague wife of Bryunion fell ill, and then Gladi’s beloved granddaughter. What did Cola not do to save the girl, even in the forest she wore – that the old woman turned. Death retreated from the child, but she took Brühon’s wife. Burying his wife and putting his granddaughter on his feet, Cola returns home – on the ashes. As soon as the plague began, the foreman left the city, giving it to the rascals, hunted to someone else’s good. And under the pretext that it was necessary to burn houses at home, where the plague was, the bandits began to host the city and its environs. Kol’s house was empty, they started with him: they completely looted everything, and then they burned the house, the workshop, and all his works that were there. Nothing remained for Bryunion. But he does not lose heart – otherwise he would not be Bryunion! Cola decisively goes to Klamsi – it’s time to restore order in the city. On the way he meets his apprentice, who, at the risk of his life, rescued from the burning workshop one of the works of Bryunon – the figure of Magdalene. And the master understands: not everything is lost, because the best of his works has remained – the soul of the apprentice boy, whom he managed to inspire with the same love as he has for the beautiful.
Bryunion raises the inhabitants of Klamsi to fight robbers. When they make another raid on wine cellars, the armed townspeople led by Cola give them a worthy rebuff, and most of the robbers die under burning ruins. And then the royal justice arrived, just in time. But the opinion of Cola is this: “Take care of yourself, podsobit and king.”
Autumn is coming. The remaining Brunyon sleeps from one friend, then from another – a joint struggle with a robber band rallied the townspeople. But life is improving, everyone has their own worries, and Cola has to settle with her daughter, who has long been calling him to her. But he wants to have his own corner, and he begins to slowly restore his house – he picks up a stone in the quarry, he himself puts the walls, not disdaining, of course, the help of neighbors. But one day he stumbles, falls from the scaffold, breaks his leg and is confined to the bed – “caught by the foot.” And here is the “old bitch” Cola falls into complete submission to his daughter Martine. And imperceptibly rules all in the house. And on Epiphany Martina is going to the whole family of Kola – the hostess herself, four sons of Bryunon, numerous grandchildren. And although Kol had no stake, no court, he is still rich – sitting at the head of the table, on his head is the crown – a cake form, he drinks and is happy. Because “every Frenchman was born king, here I am the master, and here is my home.”