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In the village of Jonesport, Maine, farmers Seth and Mother Parker care for their foster son Robbie, while farm hand David Clark, the son of "Runaway" Rose, secretly courts his employer's daughter, Mary Lucy Duffy. Because Rose had eloped with a stranger years before and had returned alone to Jonesport with a baby, the townspeople ostracize her, and Mary Lucy's father, Wobbling Duffy, forbids his daughter from seeing David. Although David, a graduate of agricultural school, is fired by Duffy for chatting with Mary Lucy, he nevertheless agrees to meet her at a barn dance that night. At the same time, Duffy's friend, drunken ruffian Rufe Turner, shows up in Jonesport looking for Robbie, the son he had abandoned as a baby. After Seth cleverly prevents Duffy from attacking Mary Lucy at the dance, the humiliated farmer threatens his daughter and forces her out of his home. Mary Lucy then moves in with the Parkers, and her blossoming romance with David becomes the main topic of conversation for the local gossips. Seth and Mother care for and counsel Mary Lucy and also protect Robbie from Turner, who greedily demands his son's return. During a taffy-pulling party at the Parkers', Seth advises Mary Lucy and David, who are about to elope to Bangor, to stay in Jonesport for a few more days, then gives them money for a proper wedding. Later that night, Turner, who had been chased off by Seth at gunpoint, sneaks into Robbie's room and kidnaps him. When Seth discovers Turner's deed, he takes off in his buggy and, with help from the family Bible, catches and knocks out Turner as he is about to flee with Robbie on a train. Because Seth never had legally adopted Robbie, the boy is placed in a Bangor orphanage, pending a legal decision. While waiting for the court's verdict, Seth lectures the townspeople on the subject of tolerance and encourages them to accept Rose and her newly married son into their hearts. Moved by Seth's words, the townspeople embrace the newlyweds and Rose, just as Robbie returns from Bangor as Seth's legal heir.