Short summary - Colas Breugnon
"The smoking-room is alive ..." - Cola shouts to his friends, who came to see if he died of the plague. But no, Cola Bruignon, "an old sparrow, Burgundy blood, vast in spirit and belly, not the first youth, half a century has hit, but strong", is not going to leave the land so beloved by him and still revels in life, even finds it "more savory than before. " Cola is a carpenter, he has a house, a grumpy wife, four sons, a beloved daughter and adored granddaughter Glodi. Armed with a chisel and chisel, he stands in front of a workbench and makes furniture, decorating it with intricate patterns. A true artist. Cola hates dullness and vulgarity, each of its products is a real work of art. With a good job, Bruignon willingly pays homage to old Burgundy and delicious food. Cola rejoices in every day he lives, he lives in harmony with himself and also tries to live with the whole world. But alas! the latter is not always possible. Recently, the good king Henry IV died in France, his son Louis is still small, and the country is ruled by the dowager queen regent Maria de Medici, along with her favorites, the Italians. The enmity between Catholics and Huguenots, which had subsided under Henry, flares up with renewed vigor. "Let everyone live in our France and do not interfere with the lives of others!" - says Cola. He agrees with all the gods and is ready to drink a keg of good wine with both a Catholic and a Huguenot. Politics is fun for princes, and peasants need land. The peasants make the land fertile, grow bread, take care of the vineyards, and then drink good wine.
Spring is coming, and again the heart of old Brunion is aching - he just cannot forget his youthful love, the red-haired beauty Celine. He was not the only one who was in love with this quick-to-work and sharp-tongued girl, nicknamed Lasochka. Then Cola even had to measure strength with his best friend, but in vain: the brisk Lasochka got the fat miller. After many, many years, Cola goes to look at his Lasochka. And although she is already an old woman, in the eyes of Brunion she is beautiful, as before. Only now does Cola find out that Lasochka loved him more than anyone else in the world, but she was only stubborn, so she married another. But you cannot turn back the past ... But will Cola “pout at life like an old fool, because this and that is not so? Everything is fine as it is. What I do not have, well, to hell with him! "
In the summer, a plague epidemic breaks out in the town of Clamsey, near which Cola lives. Brunion sends the family to the village, and he remains to eat, drink and have fun with his friends, confident that the plague will bypass his house. But one day he discovers signs of a terrible disease. Fearing that his house will be burned, like all the houses where the plague has been, Cola, taking his favorite books, moves to a hut in his vineyard. Cola's zest for life, the healing power of the earth conquer disease, Cola is recovering. "The smoking-room is alive ..."
In the village at that time Brunion's wife fell ill with the plague, and then his beloved granddaughter Glodi. Cola did a lot to save the girl, even carried her to the forest - so that the old woman could bewitch. Death retreated from the child, but took Brunion's wife to her. Having buried his wife and putting his granddaughter on her feet, Cola returns home - to the ashes. As soon as the plague began, the foremen left the city, leaving it to be torn apart by crooks, we hunt for someone else's good, And under the pretext that it was necessary to burn houses where there was a plague, the bandits began to dominate the city and its environs. Kol's house was empty, and they started with it: they completely looted everything, and then burned down the house, the workshop, and all his works that were there. Brunion had nothing left. But he is not discouraged - otherwise he would not have been Brunion! Cola is heading decisively to Clamsey - it's time to restore order in the city. On the way, he meets his apprentice, who, at the risk of his life, rescued from the burning workshop one of Brunion's works - a figurine of the Magdalene. And the master understands: not all is lost, because the best of his works remains - the soul of an apprentice boy, to whom he managed to instill the same love for beauty as he did.
Brunion raises the inhabitants of Clamecy to fight the robbers. When they make another raid on the wine cellars, the armed townspeople led by Cola give them a fitting rebuff, and most of the robbers die under the burning ruins. And then the royal justice arrived in time, just in time. But Col's opinion is: "Help yourself, the king will help."
Autumn is coming. Left homeless, Brunion spends the night with one friend, then with another - a joint struggle with a band of robbers rallied the townspeople. But life is getting better, everyone has their own worries, and Cola has to live with his daughter, who has long been calling him to her. But he wants to have his own corner, and he begins to slowly rebuild his house - he picks the stone in the quarry himself, puts the walls himself, not disdaining, of course, with the help of neighbors. But one day he, having stumbled, falls from the woods, breaks his leg and is bedridden - "caught by the paw." And now the "old bastard" Cola falls into complete submission to his daughter Martina. And imperceptibly rules everything in the house. And for Christening at Martine's, the entire Cola family gathers - the hostess herself, the four sons of Brunion, and numerous grandchildren. And although Kol has neither stake nor yard left, he is still rich - he sits at the head of the table, on his head is a cake mold, he drinks and is happy. Because “every Frenchman was born a king. Here I am the master, and here is my home. "