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Min, a hard-boiled proprietress of a waterfront hotel, who has as her sweetheart Bill, a fisherman, brings up Nancy, a girl who was deserted by her own mother in infancy. Local authorities try to persuade Min that she is not a fit mother and that Nancy should be sent to school. Between the truant officer and prohibition officials, Min is forced to send her to live with the school principal's family, though Nancy insists that she would rather stay with Min. Meanwhile, Bella, Nancy's actual mother--now a down-and-out floozie--turns up, but Min sends her back to San Francisco. Min sacrifices to send Nancy to a proper boarding school, where she falls in love with Dick, a wealthy boy who loves her in spite of her background and plans to marry her. Bella, finding out about her daughter's good fortune, returns and tells Min she will reveal her identity so as to benefit from Dick's money. In a struggle, Min's face is burned, and she is forced to shoot Bella to stop her. Min is informed on by a jealous sailor; and as her daughter sails on her honeymoon, Min is led away by the police.