Maggie Pepper, a strong-willed, sharp-witted saleswoman for an old-fashioned drygoods store, raises her deceased brother's daughter Claire, because Claire's mother Ada is a thief. After the store's owner, Joe Holbrook, learns from Maggie, who does not know him, of her ideas to improve the store, the manager, feeling threatened, fires Maggie. Joe then reveals his identity, hires her as his assistant, and the implementation of her ideas soon makes the store prosper. When Ada marries Sam Darkin, they take Claire and teach her to be a pickpocket. After Ada and Claire are apprehended in Joe's store, Ada is imprisoned, while Maggie gets Claire back. When Joe's fiancée breaks their engagement upon seeing his interest in Maggie, Maggie leaves, and to protect Claire from Darkin, decides to move to Pittsburgh. After Joe is wounded helping Maggie prevent Darkin from kidnapping Claire, he pretends to be seriously hurt so that she will nurse him overnight. The next day, Joe demands that she marry him, and she consents.