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Kit Bellew, San Francisco journalist, makes a prospecting trip to the Klondike with his uncle, who thinks that Bellew has become a mollycoddle. Given the nickname "Smoke" by the other prospectors, Bellew toughens up in the Klondike and decides to stay when his uncle departs. Bellew and his companion Shorty miss out on a gold stampede when Joy Gastell, the daughter of an old prospector, diverts the stampede to the wrong location to give the old-timers a chance to stake claims. Joy eventually makes up for her deception by helping Bellew to the rights to half of a million-dollar claim. After many adventures, Bellew is captured by Indians but escapes with the help of the chief's daughter, who dies during the escape. Bellew returns to Dawson and to Joy, whom he loves.