When "Sailor" Burke (Mahlon Hamilton) is convicted of a murder he did not commit, he escapes on a tramp steamer headed for Australia. On board he is recognized and imprisoned. But the ship sinks and before swimming off to a desert island, he saves a little girl, Jocelyn Wray (Mary McAllister), who is the daughter of the judge (Tom Maguire) who sentenced him. On the island he happens on a load of law books and next we see him ten years later back in the U.S., as John Steele, criminal lawyer. Jocelyn has grown up (to be played by Lillian Rich) and a romance develops between them. But Jack Ronsdale (Sydney Ainsworth) recognizes Steele as Burke and sends detective Jim Gillett (Wilton Taylor) on his trail. Steele, who has specialized in cases where his clients were falsely accused, does the same magic for himself and proves that he was framed by Ronsdale, the real killer. Steele/Burke then prepares to leave town, but he's stopped by Jocelyn who insists that he stay with her.
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