After his mother dies, eight-year-old Armand and his father leave Paris and move to L’Abri. At the age of eighteen, he falls in love with Desiree. They soon get married and she gives birth to a baby boy. At first, the newborn brings Armand a lot of joy and softens his hard manners, however, later he notices that as the baby grows he also appears darker. Armand feels enraged and accuses Desiree of not bring white. Afterwards, he sends her away. Weeks later, he decides to burn Desiree’s belongings and finds a bundle of letters. Most of the letters are "little scribblings" from Desiree, but he also finds one letter from his mother to his father, where he learns that his mother "belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery."