In the provincial city of K. there are congresses of landlords and noble elections.
In the best hotel of the city comes a young hussar officer, Count Turbin. There are no free rooms; “retired cavalryman” Zavalshevsky proposes the graph to stay in his room, lends Turbine money. Actually, Zavalshevsky never served in the cavalry, but there was a time when he wanted to go there. And now he himself sincerely believed in his cavalry past. Zavalshchevsky is glad to talk with Turbin, who is known everywhere as a “true hussar”.
Ilyin, the Ulanite cornet, is leaving Moscow, “a very young and cheerful boy.” He is forced to stay in the city of K. Without any malicious intent Zavalshevsky introduces him to the player Luhnov. By the time of arrival Turbine,
Cornet wakes up at six in the evening. To his room come Luhnov, other players, as well as Zavalshevsky with Turbin. The count watches the game without participating in it. He warns Ilyin that Luhnov is a sharper. But the cornet does not heed his warnings. Turbin and Zavalshevsky go to the ball to the leader of the nobility.
At the ball Zavalshevsky introduces Turbine with his sister, Anna Feodorovna Zaytsova, a young widow. Turbin takes care of her. The widow is fascinated by the Count, and her former adorer is so annoyed that she even makes a miserable attempt to quarrel with Turbin.
The Count, having got into the carriage of Anna Feodorovna, waits for her there. A young woman sits down in a carriage; seeing Turbine, she is not frightened or angry…
After the ball, many go to the gypsies to go out. Gulba is already drawing to a close, when suddenly Count Turbin arrives. The fun flares up again. The count dances, drinks a lot, scoffs at the innkeeper of the hotel, who already asks everyone to leave in the morning. At dawn, Turbin returns to the hotel. He must now leave the city.
Cornet Ilyin meanwhile lost all state money. The count, seeing the desperation of the cornet, promises to help
The whole company, which had been smoking that night, was going to escort Turbin to the outpost: on triplets, with gypsies, with songs. At the outpost all are forgiven. Having already left the city, Turbin remembers Anna Feodorovna and tells the coachman to turn back. He finds the widow still asleep. After kissing her, Count Turbin leaves town for ever.
Twenty years have passed. 1848 Count Fedor Turbin was killed a long time in a duel. His son is twenty-three years old. The young earl looks like his father only looks. “Love of decency and convenience of life,” “a practical look at the veshi” – its main qualities.
The Hussar squadron, commanded by the young Turbin, sleeps in Morozovka, the village of Anna Feodorovna Zaytsova. Anna Fyodorovna is much older. Together with her live her brother – “cavalryman” and daughter Liza, the girl simple-minded, cheerful and sincere. Liza is twenty-two years old.
Officers – Count Turbin and Polozov’s cornet – stop in the village hut. Anna Fyodorovna sends to ask if they need anything. The Count asks for a “cleaner room”; then from Anna Feodorovna follows the invitation to spend the night in her house. The Count willingly agrees, cornet is embarrassed: it is ashamed to bother the owners. Polozov – a young man timid, shy. It is strongly influenced by Turbine.
Anna Feodorovna is excited by the meeting with the son of Count Fedor Turbin. She invites guests to spend the evening together with the hosts. All sit down to play preference, and the Count plays the poor old woman for the amount, which seems quite significant to her. Anna Feodorovna is annoyed, the count is not a bit troubled.
Cornet is struck by the beauty of Lisa, but can not make conversation with her in any way. It’s easy for the turbine. The girl tells her innocently what room she sleeps in. Count Turbin understands these words as an invitation to a date.
Night. Lisa falls asleep, sitting by the open window Turbin from the garden watches her and after long doubts decides to come up. His touch wakes the girl. She runs away in horror. The Count returns to his room and tells the cornet to Polozov about this adventure, adding that the young lady herself appointed him a date. Cornet’s Lisa is a “pure, beautiful creature.” Indignant Polozov calls Turbine a scoundrel.
The next morning the officers leave, not saying goodbye to the hosts and not talking to each other. Before the duel it never comes.