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Two young men, Eugene Irtenev and his brother, are left a large inheritance after the death of their father. However, the inheritance is saddled with debts, and the brothers must decide whether or not to accept it. Eugene accepts the inheritance and buys off his brother's portion, thinking that he can sell off large tracts of land while making improvements to the rest. Living alone with his mother while working on the farm, Eugene misses the relations he had with women while living in St. Petersburg.