Leonid Pleshcheyev returned from the war blind. Against his will, he became a dependent. He drowns his grief in unrestrained drunkenness, thereby tormenting his wife Mariya and his teenage son Lyonka. Mariya finally decides to take her son and leave for Altai, but the boy runs away and returns to his father. So, together, they eke out a half-miserable existence until Grigoriy Shalagin, Pleshcheyev's longtime friend, returns from the army. It is he who awakens in Leonid the extinct self-esteem and pride of a soldier. Pity aside, he helps him get back to work.