There is a shipwreck near a small fishing village, and one of the survivors is the wealthy Clarissa Sedgwick (Lydia Knott). She spends several weeks recovering at the home of a fisherman (Frank Currier) and grows very fond of his daughter, Meta (Alice Lake). Mrs. Sedgwick offers to pay for her education and she accepts. During one vacation, Meta visits her benefactress, but Mrs. Sedgwick's alcoholic nephew Morton (future silent superstar John Gilbert) takes advantage of her. She returns home to find her father has died, and it is up to her to provide for her mother (Relyea Anderson) and siblings (Richard Headrick and Carol Jackson). Meta's sweetheart, aspiring artist Albert Tuley (Jack Mulhall), wants to marry her, but she writes him a letter, explaining the incident with Morton Sedgwick. Her mother, however, is determined to see the girl married and destroys the letter. Still, after the wedding Meta mentions the incident, and Tuley leaves her, heading for Paris to complete his studies. Meta's mother then tries to marry her off to Morton by threatening him and telling her that her husband died in France. So she marries him, but the minister is a fake. Later, she runs into her real husband, who also had been told that she was dead. Morton catches them talking, and the two men end up in a fight that results in the villain's death. Given the dramatic tone of this picture, it's surprising to realize that actress Alice Lake started off her career as a foil in Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle two-reelers. This was one of her first starring vehicles.
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