On the corvette, standing on the Singapore roadstead, a new senior officer arrives, baron von der Behring. The ship has been circumnavigated for two years, is in exemplary order and shines with astonishing purity. Suddenly, in a secluded corner, the Baron in horror sees an unsightly, unmarketed dog with his ears bitten and a stump of his tail, but with unusually clever and kind eyes. To the excuse of the boatswain that Kutsyi is a working dog, and the crew loves her, the baron agrees to leave her. But if she spoils the deck, he will order the dog to be thrown overboard.
The tedious senior officer immediately gets the nickname “Chertovy Itching” from the crew. His threat to be thrown overboard by Kutsego, the general favorite, which delivers to the sailors so much pleasure among the monotony of their difficult life, causes a deafening murmur.
A month passes. The new senior officer does not punish anyone, but it is too picky. He, according to the sailors, does not know the subtleties and during the storm he is a little coward. Barons and officers dislike indulgent contempt. Kutsy tries not to show himself to his eyes. Hearing, “Itching is coming,” the dog presses its chopped tail and flies to a safe place.
Once Kutsy, being sick, spoils the deck, and the baron orders to throw it overboard. The midshipman, at the request of the sailors, tries to intercede for the dog, but the baron is adamant. Then the midshipman turns to the captain, whom the senior officer does not like either. The captain demands to leave the dog alone and not to irritate people. Baron responds with a report on his resignation, motivating his departure illness.
A different officer is assigned to the corvette, and the sailors sigh more freely. Quiet still amuses the crew, with a shout of “Itching is coming!” quickly rushes down, but immediately returns, realizing that his enemy is no longer there.