Joãozinho lives in the Vila de Nossa Senhora da Guia, and is brought up by his grandmother. Very ill, and unable to get around, old Didinha brings her grandson up on a pittance of a pension and milk from their goat. One night, Joãozinho wakes up with his grandmother praying that God take her for she can no longer bear the pain of her disease and the lack of money to buy medicine. Joãozinho hears this and decides to sell their goat and, with the money, buy the medicine his grandmother requires. In While on his journey, he discovers the ancient and the new architecture of the capital, personalities from the cultural and political life, and the good and the bad sides of the city.