The action of the product unfolds in 1918-1919 in the unknown City of N, which resembles Kiev. He is occupied by the German invaders, the power is concentrated in the hands of the hetman. Everybody is waiting for Petlyura fighters to enter the city. Life in the village is strange and unnatural.
In the house of the Turbins the owners and guests of the family conduct a conversation about the fate of their beloved City. Alexei Turbin is sure that the fault lies with the hetman, who did not form the Russian army in time. Then it would be possible to defend the city, to save Russia and Petlyura troops would not have been.
Helen’s spouse Sergey Talberg tells her that he and the Germans are leaving on the train. He hopes that in a couple of months he will arrive with Denikin’s army. The captain does not take his wife with him.
To protect themselves from the Petlyura army, Russian divisions form. Carp, Myshlaevsky and senior Turbin go to serve Malyshev. But next night the hetman, along with General Belorukov, leave on a German train. The colonel dissolves his army, as the city authorities no longer exist.
Colonel Nai-Tours by December forms the second department of the first squad. Under the threat of a colt, he forces the chief of supply to give out his winter clothes for his men. The next morning, the Petlyura army is attacking the city, the colonel’s soldiers desperately go into battle. Nye-Tours sends the scouts to find out where the
Nikolai Turbin, on orders from the commander, arrives at the place indicated. There he faces a terrible picture: Nai-Tours calls out to all fighters to tear all documents, tear off shoulder straps and cockades, throw weapons and hide in shelters. In front of Turbin, the colonel is killed by a gunshot wound. Kolya is trying to get to the house.
Senior Turbin, who did not know about the dissolution of the army, is at headquarters. There he sees the abandoned weapons and Malyshev, who explains that the city was captured by the Petlyura army. Alexis rips off his epaulettes and goes home, but along the way Petlyura’s soldiers shoot at him. Wounded Turbine is hidden by an unknown lady Julia Reiss, and the next day helps him to get home. Larion, Sergei’s brother, arrives at Turbin and remains with them.
Lisovich Vasily Ivanovich, the owner of the house in which the Turbines live, settles down on the first floor. The Turbins’ family is on the second. Before the entry of Petliurists into the City, Basil hides decorations and money in a hiding place. Behind him, someone is closely watching and the next day are the armed guys with a search. The contents of the hiding place, the clothes and the master’s watches are taken away. Spouses Lisovich suspect that they were criminals and ask for help from the Turbins. Carp to the aid of them.
Nikolai informs his Nye-Tours about his death. With the sister of Colonel Ira he finds the body of the deceased. At night it is being performed.
After a couple of days from the injury Alexei is seriously ill, doctors are talking about an imminent death. His sister closes in her room and prays to the Theotokos, so that Lyosha survives. At the same time she says that the husband should not return, and the brother will live. Suddenly, Turbin comes to his senses in front of the astonished doctor.
A month or so later, Alyosha, finally recovered, comes to Julia Reiss and hands her a bracelet from her late mother as a token of gratitude for her salvation. Turbin asks if he can come to visit. On the way, he meets his brother, coming from Sister Nai-Tours.
Elena receives a letter from a close friend, where it is reported that her husband marries a completely different lady. A woman, crying, remembers that night prayer..
In February the Petlyuraites leave. The Bolsheviks hurry to the City.