The action takes place in the beginning of XX century. A group of convicts, a young revolutionary Pavel Nechaev among them, escapes from prison situated in the wild Siberian taiga. A reward is offered for those who will catch the fugitives dead or alive. Some peasants guided by cruel Kudim immediately go in pursuit. Soon they find the convicts and severely kill them. Only Pavel manages to run away and hides himself at a remote goldfield. There he meets a mute Ustya who helps him to escape from the hunters. Together, seizing up some gold, they start on a long and dangerous journey for salvation.