The Barber of Siberia
Jane Callahan, a beautiful American lady, writes to her son, a cadet at a famous military academy, about a long kept secret. Twenty years ago she arrived in Russia to assist Douglas McCracken, an obsessive engineer who needs the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich's patronage to sponsor his invention, a massive machine to harvest the forests. On her travels, she meets two men who would change her life forever: a handsome young cadet Andrej Tolstoy with whom she shares a fondness for opera, and the powerful General Radlov who is entranced by her beauty and wants to marry her. Tolstoy and Radlov, much to the surprise and indignation of the latter, become rivals for Jane's love. She confides a deep secret to Tolstoy, promises to marry him, and together they spend a passionate night of love. But later he overhears Jane denying her interest in him to the General, in order to win the general's favour and be granted an audience with the Grand Duke. Distraught, Tolstoy attacks the General who arrests his young rival on false charges and banishes him to Siberia to seven years of hard labor and a further five years of exile.