Counselor Zhang Tian-jiao and his daughter Cui-luan go “on vacation” in Jiangzhou. Crossing Huaihe, he did not heed the advice and did not bring the victims to the spirit of the river. The ferry rolled over, the storm swept away the travelers. Saved by the coastal guard Cui-luan adopted a fisherman Cui Wen-yuan.
The father and daughter in a longing year for each other. Somehow, the fisherman goes to his nephew, Cui Dian-shi, who is going to the exam for the capital. Having discovered in him great abilities, the uncle introduces the young man to the adopted daughter. Seeing that young people sympathize with each other, he immediately weds them. Cui Dian-shi swears in loyalty to his newfound wife.
Examiner Zhao Qian is very pleased with the composition of Tsui. Calling him, Zhao (depicted in the play as a fool) offers him his daughter’s wife. Tsui decides that this party will be more enviable than marriage with an ancestral – as he thinks – Cui-luan. Zhao sends the young to Qinchuan, where Tsui will be the ruler of the county. Three years later, Cui-luan, after learning about the whereabouts of the missing husband, comes to Qinchuan. Cui Dyan-shi not only refuses to recognize her as his wife, but declares a runaway slave and orders, branded, to send him to the island of Shamyn in the hope that she will die on the way.
Convinced of the honesty of Zhang Tian-chiao, the emperor appoints him as the inspector of the Jiangzhou province.
Located in front of the entrance to the station, Cui-luan during the night with his moaning repeatedly awakens his father, who is dissatisfied with this – because only in a dream he sometimes sees his daughter. At dawn he finally finds out who did not let him sleep. The daughter tells his father about his fate. With his permission, she goes for the wrong husband and razluchnitsey. Zhang Tian-jiao wants to execute them. However, the fisherman comes to the rescue and begs indulgence for his nephew. The case is limited to the oath of Cui Dyan-shi to be an exemplary husband from now on, the second wife becomes their servant. “The heart of a woman is soft,” confesses Cui-luan.