Sentenced to a term in prison for stealing money to save her baby's life, Ruth Marley comes out to find the world against her. Ill and destitute, forsaken by the good-for-nothing Stephen Marley, whom she married in the belief that the man she really loves has committed a great wrong, Ruth sends for her foster father, Mr. Dean, and his daughter, Rose. They take her home, where she is denounced as a thief by Lieutenant Wentworth, Ruth's fiancé, whom she robbed. Despite the fact that she has given the alarm that prevented her husband and his pal from robbing the house, she is turned out. Juliana, an actress, takes her in. Stephen and Ned, hiding in a basement, are found by Barbara Dale, a girl whom Marley first betrayed and then forced to accuse the Reverend George Brand, Ruth's former lover, as the guilty man. Barbara discloses the hiding place to Ruth, who confronts Stephen and threatens to denounce him if he will not clear George Brand's name. He is beating her when George and a policeman enter. A confession follows, and Ned, in panic, fires a shot which finds its mark in Stephen. Ruth and her lover are married and she is reconciled with the A dramatic story superbly interpreted by the Biograph players.
—The Biograph Weekly
Mrs. Hope, an employee in the Medford Mills, dies. Mr. Dean, the owner, adopts her daughter Ruth. Stephen Marley, cousin of the Rev. George Brand, who is in love with Ruth, is an unwelcome visitor at the parsonage. Brand secures a position for Stephen in the mills. Stephen makes the acquaintance of Rose Dean and her foster sister, Ruth, and shows his admiration for Ruth. Stephen strikes up an acquaintance with Barbara Dale, a mill hand. Rev. George Brand proposes to Ruth but she puts him off, telling him he must get Mr. Dean's permission. Dean gives his consent. Stephen overhears the conversation and determines to win Ruth. Stephen entices Barbara away from home and then deserts her. Barbara's father turns her out of the house. She implores Stephen to marry her but he refuses. Ruth meets Barbara and tries to comfort her. Lieutenant Wentworth, Rose's fiancé, leaves to join his regiment. Barbara again implores Stephen to save her from disgrace. He tells her if she will agree to accuse George Brand and tell Ruth it was Brand who wronged her, he will marry her. Barbara is horrified but finally agrees. Barbara calls at the Dean home and tells Ruth that George Brand wronged her. Ruth is overcome at Barbara's alleged confession and when Brand calls, he is astonished at her change of heart. Stephen pays attention to Ruth and when he proposes, Ruth, anxious to get away from George and her friends, accepts him. Stephen urges Ruth to marry him at once and late that night Ruth leaves a note for Rose telling her she has gone forever and departs with Stephen. Rose and her father are overcome with grief. Two years later, Ruth and her baby, in poverty, are neglected by Stephen. Juliana, an actress, befriends Ruth. George Brand, now a revivalist in the city, recognizes Ruth. He follows her to her home and offers to help her. Ruth realizing her child is dangerously ill, accepts his aid. Stephen enters and demands money. He struggles with Ruth, finally overpowering her, and flees with the money. Frantic with grief. Ruth rushes out and entering a saloon, grabs a bill from the hand of Harry Wentworth, who is in the city. Ruth retraces her steps, followed by a policeman and Wentworth. She pleads with Wentworth but he turns a deaf ear to her pleadings and she is led away as her child dies. Ruth is found guilty and sentenced to prison. A few months later Ruth is released. Believing she is dying, Ruth sends for her foster father and Rose, who take her home. Ruth is about to retire when she is disturbed by a noise and is horrified to find Stephen and Ned, his pal, robbing the Dean home. Her screams attract the attention of Dean, Rose and Wentworth, and in order to save himself, Stephen tells them Ruth is his wife. Wentworth recognizes Ruth and tells Dean she is a convicted thief. Ned and Stephen escape. Ruth admits her guilt and Dean orders her from the house. She returns to her old quarters and finds shelter with her friend, Juliana. Stephen and Ned hide in a basement. Barbara, deserted, sees Stephen and vows revenge. Barbara is found by Ruth. Grateful to Ruth, Barbara confesses. Ruth leaves with Barbara, and Juliana, alarmed, asks George to go in search of her. Ruth and Barbara reach Stephen's hiding place and determined to know the truth, Ruth breaks open the door. She confronts Stephen and tells him if he does not tell the truth, regarding George, she will denounce him. Enraged, he beats her unmercifully. He is about to escape when George and a policeman enter. Ruth accuses Stephen and confesses the truth to George. Ned, thoroughly frightened, kills Stephen by mistake. Ruth and George marry and return to the Dean's home. Ruth is forgiven.
—Moving Picture World synopsis
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