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Aurelie, an orphan, escapes from a New Orleans convent and is adopted by Mississippi riverboat captain Lindstrom. So that she can have a more settled life, he sends her to live with his brother, John Lindstrom, a squatter in a small river valley town. There she develops into a beautiful woman and wins a newspaper's beauty contest, attracting an offer from a theatrical producer, which she accepts. She rapidly achieves success, but when she returns to town, she is spurned. Newspaper editor Wiley Curran and Harlan Van Hart, the college-educated son of Judge and Mrs. Van Hart, are both interested in her, but Aurelie ends up with Arney Vance.