The title of this film is taken from the novel of the same name by V. Kaverin.
Nikolai Trubacbevsky is studying philology at the university of Leningrad. The lecture halls are filled with gay young people thirsty for knowledge, and among them Nikolai meets Masha, the professor's daughter. He is attracted to her, but does not neglect his studies. He is working on the tenth chapter of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, and defends the author from attacks by other students.
His professor has a priceless collection of Pushkin's manuscripts, and he allows Nikolai to work among them. He is pleased to feel that he seems to be on the right way, and that Masha is beside him. But some of the manuscripts disappear and the professor's son, jealous of Nikolai, accuses him of the theft. Only Masha believes in his innocence . . .