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Phemie Sanders, confronted with the unhappiness of her parents because of the perpetually drunken state of her father, harbors a hatred towards men which even extends to Joe Stull, the village blacksmith who wants to marry her. Upon her mother's death, Phemie takes her younger sister and goes to Joe to accept his proposal while announcing that she will never love him. Joe accepts her conditions, thinking that she will soon change her attitude, but Phemie remains steadfast. Having read in the paper of the power of matrimonial jealousy, Joe decides to write anonymous letters to Phemie, mentioning another woman in his life. These have no perceptible effect on the man-hater until another woman, in reality, looms upon the horizon. She is Lucy Conyer, a former admirer of Joe's who is now a widow. Lucy makes a play for Joe's attentions and this finally has an effect on Phemie, who upbraids her husband for neglecting her and, then forced to a confession, declares her love for him.