The Kozlowskis are a poor family in the province of Lomza. At his death the father left a small farm of two morgs - possibly inherited from his mother. The widow, Franciszka, remained on the farm with the youngest boy, Franek. One daughter (stepdaughter?) of Franciszka married a shoemaker of the same village. The position of a village shoemaker is rather bad, and this explains the apparent cupidity of the daughter. The other children had gone to America. Meanwhile there had remained undivided a farm left by Franciszka's late husband's father, and the trouble begins with the division of this land. In the division six morgs of land are added to the small farm of Franciszka. She has no right to sell these 6 morgs, but at the same time she wishes to get as much profit from the situation as possible, and, on the other hand, she is really not in a position to take care of the whole farm until Franek grows up. The shoemaker's wife has a right to part of the value of the whole farm and she claims her share, but Franciszka wants to pay her only a sum corresponding to her part of the original farm of two morgs, and wishes to drive a sharp bargain even then. Her first plan is to sell the farm, conceal as much money as possible for herself, and go to America to be supported there by her children. But the children are unwilling to give her power of attorney; they seem rightly to distrust her.