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After a long day of fishing with his only daughter Peg, poor Irishman Pat O'Connell learns from London lawyer Sir Jerry Markham that Peg has been named as the sole heir to his deceased wife's family's fortune. To Pat's dismay, however, the conditions of his father-in-law's will state that in order for Peg to collect her £2,000,000 fortune, she must live in England for at least three years and be permanently separated from him. Disturbed by the separation clause, Pat at first tells Jerry that Peg will not collect on the will, but changes his mind when the sudden death of several local fishermen reminds him of the precariousness of his life. Although reluctant to leave her father, who says nothing about the separation clause, Peg agrees to travel with Jerry to England, where she is to live and be educated by the aristocratic Mrs. Chichester. When Peg first arrives at the Chichester home, she is treated like a servant by Mrs. Chichester and her two grown children, foppish Alaric and snobbish Ethel. Unaware that the Chichesters are being paid £5,000 a year to board her, Peg swallows her indignation and accepts their harsh treatment in an attempt to please Jerry, with whom she has fallen in love. In addition, Peg is discreetly silent about Ethel and the married Captain Christopher Brent, whom she accidentally sees kissing in secret. Unknown to Peg, however, Jerry has longed love Ethel and dreams of marrying her. At the command of her mother, Ethel accepts Jerry's proposal but, because she is still involved with Brent, asks Jerry not to tell anyone about the engagement. At the same time, Alaric also obeys his mother and proposes to Peg, who, to his relief, rejects him. After Brent informs Ethel that his wife Grace has refused him a divorce, Ethel allows Jerry to announce their engagement at a post-fox hunt party. Devastated by the news, Peg writes to her father her desire to return home, unaware that Pat is on his way to England. At Jerry and Ethel's engagement party, Pat confers secretly with Jerry that he is emigrating to America but, after looking at the now-elegant Peg through the mansion window, begs him to tell her that he died at sea so she will not be bothered in any way by her poor past. Although Jerry is reluctant to lie, he finally agrees to Pat's plan and breaks the news to Peg. Heartbroken, Peg stays up late crying, then becomes aware that Ethel is about to elope with Brent. To Ethel's surprise, Peg bursts into her room and demands that she not be a fool with Brent, whom Peg knows is a womanizer. When Ethel resists Peg's advice, Peg rushes ahead to Brent's inn room and confronts Brent with his indecency. Moments after Ethel shows up, Peg sees Grace approaching Brent's room with two detectives. Peg then hides Ethel and, while Grace reveals that it was Brent who had refused to divorce her, presents herself to the detectives as Brent's mistress. The next day, Mrs. Chichester, who has read about Peg's scandalous behavior in the newspaper, shuns and demeans her boarder in front of Jerry. Refusing to expose Ethel to her mother, Peg announces that she is leaving the house, then learns through Alaric the truth about the Chichesters' financial arrangements. Outraged by this revelation, Peg tells Jerry she is giving up her inheritance and returning to Ireland. After Jerry finally reveals his lie to Peg, she denounces him and rushes to stop her father before his departure for America. Later, while Peg is celebrating her birthday with Pat and her Irish neighbors, an apologetic Jerry shows up and asks her to marry him.