Little Patty Barnes lives with her grandfather, Captain Amos Barnes, in a rickety shack on the New England coast. The wealthy Mrs. Gaythorne, who wishes to adopt Patty, instructs James Henley to secure the mortgage on the shack, and when Amos, now homeless and penniless, departs for the poor farm, Patty is forced to live with the cruel old woman. In the poor farm, Amos meets his two old boyhood companions, Eben Cobb, who runs the establishment, and John Harding, a millionaire who is posing as a poverty-stricken invalid in order to escape his greedy relatives. Having learned that his old friends are as good-hearted and loyal as he remembered them, John leaves Eben a large check and asks Patty to meet him near his yacht for a "pirate cruise." Intending to drown himself, Amos sets sail in his boat and, unaware that Patty is on board, pulls the plugs. The boat is about to go under when John rescues the two and takes them aboard his yacht to a life of comfort and happiness.