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In Siberia at the time of the revolution, the Countess Tatiana promises Sergei, a hungry peasant, food, a job, and her friendship, if he will guide her safely to Novokursk. Sergei, although forced to undergo torture at the hands of the Bolsheviks, accomplishes his task and is awarded a menial job in the kitchen as compensation. He falls under revolutionary influences and comes to hate the countess and all her class. He runs amok when there is an uprising in the village and attacks the countess. Dimitri, an army officer in love with Tatiana, arrives with his soldiers, but she tells him that Sergei has protected her. In a second uprising, Sergei does prove his loyalty by giving his very life to defend her.