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Orphaned Danny Barker arrives at Matt Hodgkins' farm and is warmly greeted by Matt's wife Carrie. Matt and their son Arthur are rude and unfriendly to him, however. Matt keeps Danny working hard, but no matter how he tries, Danny cannot convince Matt that he will not be a burden. Danny has adopted a dog, which he has named Shep, but because Matt does not like dogs, Danny keeps him hidden on the farm. After Arthur discovers Danny's secret, Matt finds a dead chicken and is sure that Shep killed it. Shep actually caught the skunk that killed the chicken, but Matt refuses to listen to Danny's explanations and tries to shoot the dog. That night, Danny sneaks out of his room and runs away with Shep. Nearby, John Latham and his wife discuss John's father, Carter J. Latham, whom Mrs. Latham wants to send to the old soldiers' home. Overhearing their conversation and realizing that he is unwanted, Latham tells John that he has decided to go to the old soldiers' home and leaves that same day. Meanwhile, Stanfield, the lawyer who is handling Danny's parents' estate, visits the Hodgkins' farm to see Danny and is shocked to learn that he has run away. When Matt complains about the financial burden of caring for the boy, Stanfield informs him that Danny's father left a large estate, and adds that in light of Matt's attitude toward Danny, the courts would never let him adopt the child. Along the road, Latham befriends Danny and Shep and the three join forces. Latham reveals that he knows Danny's identity, but when Danny explains that he ran away because he was unwanted on the farm, the sympathetic old man agrees not to return him. When Latham makes a trip into town for supplies, however, he wires Stanfield that Danny is safe and that he will bring him home in time for school. Eager to earn the reward for Danny's return, the telegraph operator notifies the sheriff, who dispatches a deputy to follow Latham and thereby discover Danny's whereabouts. While Latham is away, Danny meets Lorna Herrick, whose father, the district attorney, owns the property where Danny and Latham are camping. Unknown to the children, Lorna is the intended victim of kidnappers, who are plotting to prevent Herrick from indicting Lefty Monahan, one of their gang. Latham and the deputy witness the kidnapping, and while the deputy goes for the sheriff, Latham and Shep follow the kidnappers. When one of the kidnappers returns from a trip into town, Shep hops on his car and thus discovers their hideout. Shep then helps untie the children, while Latham waits on the road leading to the hideout and directs the posse there. After the children are rescued, a hearing is held to determine Danny's future. Although Hodgkins tries to adopt Danny in order to obtain his inheritance, the judge listens to Latham's testimony against Hodgkins and, after the Herricks offer to adopt Danny and Shep, awards the child to them. Happy that Danny will live in a good home, Latham sneaks out of the courtroom, but the Herricks hurry after him and make it clear that he, too, will be a member of their family.