Adaptation of William Faulkner's short story about two lost souls who rediscover life and love. J.J. Taylor and fellow convicts are expected to help rescue survivors of a dangerous flood on the banks of the Mississippi (the "Old Man") in 1927. J.J. sets off to find a woman caught up in a cypress snag, while the others attempt an escape. He is able to locate Addie, who is on the verge of giving birth, and they journey down the Mississippi together in a small boat. When the baby is born, J.J.'s humanity is rekindled and the woman, who has been abondoned by her husband, finds a compassionate friend who genuinely cares for her and her baby.