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Little Bab Fanning, who has always wanted a brother, befriends young Tom Wellsley, who has run away from his wealthy but stern father, Daniel Wellsley, in search of adventure. Tom becomes a newsboy, but the other "newsies," resentful of the wealthy boy's intrusion, plant some stolen fruit in his pockets, and he is sent to the House of Correction. Bab's effort to secure his release proves unsuccessful, and he escapes with a gang of tough boys who subsequently decide to rob his father's house. Refusing to join them, Tom finds work on a farm. Meanwhile, Bab, in search of her friend, goes to the Wellsley home, where she is forced by the boy crooks to break in. Inside, she forgets the gang and befriends Tom's brooding father, and together they find Tom and convince him to return home.