After engaging in a knock-down, drag-out waterfront fight, longshoreman John Doran (Harry T. Morey) collapses from exhaustion. When he awakens, he discovers that he has lost both his job and his bankroll. With nowhere else to turn, Doran takes refuge in a waterfront mission, where he meets thrill-seeking socialite Beatrice Walton (Florence Deshon). Impressed by his rough-hewn manners and muscular physique, Beatrice hires Doran to take charge of her father's country estate. This might have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship, except that Doran is fired almost as soon as he is hired because he can neither read nor write. Hoping to win Beatrice's love, Doran studies night and day, and with his newly-acquired "smarts" he lands an executive job with a lumber company, eventually rising to the presidency of the Lumber Worker's Association. Alas, he nearly destroys everything he's built up when he enters into an unsavory business deal with Beatrice's wealthy father. Shunned by his friends and co-workers alike, Doran finally makes amends for his past professional errors with the aid of his faithful stenographer Laura Brooks (Jean Paige), who of course has loved him all along.
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