The lace-maker Domna Platonovna, well-known to the storyteller, “has the most immense and versatile acquaintance” and is sure that she owes this to one simplicity and “goodness”. People, in the opinion of Domna Platonovna, are mean and generally “bastard,” and one can not believe anyone, which is confirmed by the frequent cases when Domna Platonovna is deceived. The lacemaker “is wider than herself” and constantly complains of health and a mighty dream, from which she suffers much grief and misery. Dene Domna Platonovna is unconcerned, she is indifferent to earnings, and, like her “artist”, her works, she has many private affairs, for which lace plays only the role of “pass-through”: woo, find money for mortgages, and carry notes everywhere. At the same time, it maintains a subtle treatment and a pregnant woman says:
After acquainting herself with the storyteller who lives in the apartment of the Polish colonel,
whom Domna Platonovna is looking for the groom, she notices that the Russian woman in love is stupid and pathetic. And tells the story of Colonel Domutkovskaya, or Leonidka. Leonidka “popstykalas” with her husband, and she appears a tenant, “druzhochek”, who does not pay for the apartment. Domna Platonovna promises to find Leonidka such that “both love will and help,” but Leonidka refuses. The lodger Leonidka lashes the whip, and after a while they go with such a “cannonball” that the “barbarian” disappears altogether. Leonidka remains without furniture, moves to live with the “first crook” Dislishe and, despite the advice of Domna Platonovna, is about to apologize to her husband. Not having received an answer to the penitential letter, she decides to go to her husband and asks Domna Platonovna for money on the way. The lacemaker of money does not give, confident that a woman can not get out of trouble otherwise than as a result of her own fall.
At this time, an acquaintance of the colonel asks Domna Platonovna to introduce him to some
“educated” lady and transfers money for her. The “scoundrel” the colonel begins to cry, she does not take money and runs away. Two days later he returns and offers his services in sewing. Domna Platonovna urges her not to “warp”, but Leonidka does not want to go to her husband for “hateful money” and goes to rich people to ask for help, but ultimately “decides” and promises “not to be capricious.” Domna Platonovna takes her a room in her apartment, buys clothes and conspires with the familiar general. But when he comes, the colonel does not open the door. Domna Platonovna calls her “nahlebnitsey” and “galettea nobleman” and so beats that she becomes very sorry. Leonidka looks crazy, crying, calling God and mama. Domna Platonovna sees in a dream Leonid Petrovna with a little dog and wants to lift a stick from the ground to drive the dog away, but from under the ground appears a dead hand and grabs a lace. The next day, Leonidka is meeting with the general, after which he completely changes: he refuses to talk to Domna Platonovna, returns her money for the apartment, categorically refusing to pay “for the trouble.” The colonel is not going to go to her husband, because “such scoundrels” do not return to their husbands. She hires an apartment and, leaving the lace maker, adds that she is not angry with Domna Platonovna, because she is “completely stupid.” A year later, Domna Platonovna learns that Leonidka “romances” holds “not only with the general, but also with his son, and decides to resume acquaintance. She goes to the colonel, when the general’s daughter-in-law sits, Leonidka offers her a “coffee” and sends her to the kitchen, thanks to the fact that the lace maker made her “rubbish.” Domna Platonovna takes offense, scolds and talks about the “pur mior of love” to the general’s bride. A scandal erupts, after which the general throws the colonel, and she begins to live so that “now one prince, and tomorrow another count”.
Domna Platonovna informs the narrator that in her youth she was a simple woman, but she was so “trained” that now she can not believe anyone. Returning home from a familiar merchant woman who treats her with a cream, Domna Platonovna regrets money for a cab, walks on foot, and some gentleman tears the bag from her hand. The narrator assumes that it would be better if she was not stingy and paid money to the cab driver, but the lace maker is sure that they all have “one strike”, and tells how she was once taken for money with “little money” because of little money. Once on the ground, she meets an officer who scolds a cabman and protects the lace maker. But after returning home, Domna Platonovna discovers that in the knot, instead of lace, some “sharovorki were discarded”: as explained in the police, the officer came from the bathhouse and simply lace was stolen. Another time, Domna Platonovna buys a shirt on the street, wrapped around the house with an old washcloth. And when Domna Platonovna decides to woo a surveyor, his friend says that he is already married. A lacemaker is wooing a friend, but a surveyor, a man who “gets all the state confused and miserable”, says the groom “navel” and upsets the wedding. Once Domna Platonovna is even given in to scold demons: when returning from the fair, she turns out to be in the field at night, dark faces revolve around him and a little man with a rooster asks her to create love, dances waltzes on the belly of a lace maker, and disappears in the morning. With the demon Domna Platonovna coped, but with the man failed: she buys furniture for one merchant, sits on top of her on a cart, but fails and “shines naked” throughout the city, While the policeman does not stop the cart. Domna Platonovna can not understand in any way whether the sin lies on her because she exchanged husbands with a kum in her dream. After that and after the story with the captive Turk Ispulatka, Domna Platonovna “sutured” at night.
A few years later, the narrator takes one poor man to a typhoid hospital and learns the greatly changed Domna Platonovna in the “elder”. After some time, the narrator is summoned to Domna Platonovna, and she asks him to find out about the student piano player Valerochka, who robbed his master. She can not save the thief, Domna Platonovna fades and prays, and the narrator admits that he loves Valerochka and asks for pity, while everyone laughs at her. A month later, Domna Platonovna dies from a rapid exhaustion of forces, and the chest and its “simple belongings” tells the narrator so that he gives everything to Valerka.