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In the late 1800's, Captain Donald Lochlin has had his commission revoked and is serving thirty days on a remote island for sinking his ship while on a drunken binge. Donald befriends Huish, an Englishman who is also serving time, and when they rescue young Mr. Herrick from quicksand, they all become friends. Donald is saved from his sentence when a commissioner gives him captaincy of a ship whose previous captain has died of smallpox. Donald hires Herrick as his first mate and Huish as his steward, and takes over the ship. When he decides to hijack the ship and sell its cargo of champagne in Peru, rather than its destination in Sydney, Australia, Faith Wishart, the former captain's daughter, appears, revealing herself as a stowaway. Donald refuses to stay on course, so Faith, who was devoted to her father, shoots him. Donald is unharmed, and Herrick comforts the shakened woman. One day Huish breaks into the champagne and gets drunk. Ignoring his better instincts, Donald also gets drunk and goes on a twelve-day binge. Herrick is disgusted by his mentor and becomes even more angry when he catches Huish attacking Faith. The hold catches on fire after Herrick and Huish knock over a lamp during their struggle, and Donald puts out the fire and sobers up. Huish continues to drink, but when he breaks into another crate, he discovers that the champagne bottles are filled with water. After discovering a bottle of sulfuric acid in the hold, Donald and Herrick realize that Wishart had been planning to sink the ship for the insurance money. Faith realizes their accusations are true when she recalls that her father insisted on putting her ashore when he discovered that she had stowed away. Having lost their food supply in the fire, Donald weighs anchor near an uncharted island that is apparently inhabited. Herrick and Huish find evidence of a pearl harvest, and determine that someone is illegally selling the pearls. Their assumption is proved correct when they meet Attwater, a suspicious Englishman whose island workers believe he is a god. Attwater is hospitable, but their dinner is interrupted by an islander named David, who is caught stealing. Attwater orders the man thrown into a venomous snake pit and left to die, shocking the sailors. Huish gets drunk and while alone with Attwater, reveals that he and Donald had planned to rob him. Faith, seeing the British flag from the ship, swims ashore, and asks Attwater for his help, while Huish and Donald return to the ship. The next morning, however, Attwater refuses to give them any food supplies unless Faith stays on with him. Huish and Donald's plans to kill Attwater with acid result in their own deaths. Herrick then shoots Attwater in self-defense, but Attwater is only wounded. When David's brother Joseph sees his supposed god bleeding, he flies into a rage, causing Attwater to stagger backward and fall into the pit of vipers. A riot erupts among the islanders, and Joseph promises to bring food on board ship after Herrick and Faith agree to take him away with them. As they sail away, Joseph gives lovers Faith and Herrick a gift of pearls.