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Bill Roberts, a stoker on a tramp steamer, comes ashore for eight hours' leave and saves the life of Sadie, a bitter waterfront tramp who, tired of her sordid life in sailors' dancehalls, throws herself into the water. That evening Bill gets drunk and marries Sadie in a ceremony presided over by Hymn Book Harry, a mission worker; the following morning Bill leaves her without a word and returns to his ship. The third engineer tries to make love to Sadie and is killed by his wife, Lou; Sadie is blamed for the crime, but Lou comes forward and confesses. As the steamer is leaving New York harbor, Bill realizes that he loves Sadie and jumps ship, swimming to shore. Sadie has been taken into court for stealing the clothes Bill had given her to be married in, and he confesses to the theft, promising to return to Sadie after his 60 days in jail.