Colomba della Rebbia is the daughter of a Corsican nobleman, a Napoleonic colonel who, after the fall of Napoleon, returned to Corsica and was killed there under unclear circumstances. K. is sure that the perpetrator of the crime is the enemy of her family and lawyer Barrakini, who became the local mayor after the restoration of the Bourbons. Failing to prove her case in court, she urges her brother Orso, in the recent past also an officer of the Napoleonic army, to avenge his father. Orso hesitates for a long time, not being convinced of the fairness of her sister’s suspicions, and meanwhile, by all means, right up to direct provocations, incites enmity between the two families. Finally, Orso, indignant at the defiant behavior of Barracini, summons two sons of a lawyer to a duel;
Orso, who years of service in the French army instilled the notion of European legal culture, needs revenge for his enemy; K. does not have completely reliable evidence, but firmly knows the Corsican customs. In the rural house of della Rebbia, she creates an atmosphere of hatred, and this affects even the content of the songs she composes. on the people’s mood; with the help of forest dwellers, she thwarts attempts by local authorities to reconcile her brother with the Barracini family, organizes an armed confrontation with her enemies, and after the death of his sons, Orso helps her escape from the persecution. In the end, she arranges and his wedding with a young Englishwoman who got to Corsica. K. – the engine of the plot of the story, its effective beginning, but it is animated by the evil, wild vengeance energy; her appearance is marked by this hatred even in the epilogue, when, having put an end to the enemies of the family, she tries to live in a European society and adopt his manners. K. – one of the impressive incarnations of the romantic image of the “savage”, not virtuous-rational, as in the writings of the Enlightenment, but passionately passionate, up to the end defending his barbarous notions of justice.