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Because both his father and grandfather died of alcoholism, the inhabitants of Denny Bolton's small home town in upstate New York consider him, too, a hopeless drunkard. Swayed by the suggestion that he has inherited a craving for liquor, Denny fights to abstain from it, aided only by the woman who loves him, Dryad Anderson. One night, however, Denny is kicked by a horse, and when Dryad sees him unconscious on the floor, she believes the worst and abandons him. Angered, Denny moves to New York City and applies for a job as a fighter in Flash Hogarty's gymnasium. In the ring, Denny stands up to a good fighter named Sutton, which so impresses Flash that he trains Denny to face the lightweight champion, Jed the Red. An encouraging note from Dryad delivered to Denny during the big fight so inspires him that he defeats Jed and returns home triumphant.