May 5, 1838 a young woman throws a newborn girl into the house of Prince Dmitry Shadursky. The thirty-eight-year-old prince is little surprised at the appearance of the foundling; knowing the way of life of the prince, does not see anything strange in this, and his wife Tatyana Lvovna. Shadursky decides to get rid of the girl and goes for advice to General Von Spilze – a famous St. Petersburg lady of dubious origin, who knows all and everything and knows how to arrange all sorts of things in various ways.
Mother of the newborn girl, twenty-five-year-old Princess Anna Chechevinskaya, eagerly awaits in the secret shelter of the return of her maid Natasha, who was instructed to take his illegitimate child to the prince. Princess Anna was brought up in the village, at the drinking
Outraged by her daughter’s immorality, the old princess deprives her of her inheritance in favor of Nikolai’s beloved son, a rake and a gambler. The disgrace of Princess Chechevinskaya is made the property of St. Petersburg light; the old princess falls ill with a nervous shock.
Meanwhile, Natasha has her own plans for further action. This eighteen-year-old serf-girl grew up in the house of the brother of the old princess Chechevinskaya, who spoiled a pretty girl and brought her up like a young lady. After the unexpected death of the master, Natasha inherited his sister and instantly lost the usual benefits. She was separated from her mother and placed by the maid to Princess Anna. Natasha, a cold-blooded nature, ruthless and consistent, harbored a desire to take revenge on the hated princess.
After the scandal in the family Chechevinskih Natasha goes to Ascension Avenue to his lover, engraver
Having drunk a sick princess Chechevinskaya opium, Natasha steals from her box most of the money, leaving instead a note allegedly from Princess Anna, which says that she picks up the money put to her. Unable to withstand this shock, the old princess dies, having, however, managed to destroy the compromising kind of Chechevinsky note. Nikolai Chechevinsky is extremely surprised to find after the death of his mother is not such a large amount, which he expected. Natasha and Bodlevsky flee to Finland with forged passports.
Prince Dmitry Platonovich Shadursky agrees with Generalz von Spielze about the arrangement of the child and then forgets about the existence of his illegitimate daughter – as, however, does not want to remember the fate of her mother.