Isaac Abrams, a lonely ghetto pawnbroker, is disliked by most of his neighbors; the only exceptions are Nora Banks, the landlady's charming daughter, and Mrs. Shannon, a poor scrubwoman saving to bring her son Tommy from Ireland. On the day the child arrives at Ellis Island, his mother is taken fatally ill, and Abrams is forced to take in the child. Tommy, who comes to love Abrams, is taught to care for the shop, barter with the customers, and study. When he beats Snipe Banks, the neighborhood toughie, Mrs. Banks vengefully reports Tommy to the authorities, who remove him to an orphanage and later to an Iowa family. Tommy escapes and returns to the pawnshop; when faced with another parting, Abrams plans to take him away. Abrams is denounced by Mrs. Banks, precipitating a riot, but Dr. Mueller, Nora's suitor, arrives to straighten out matters; Abrams is permitted to adopt the boy.