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Pearson Hunter, a jealous Southern plantation owner, returns home with his new wife Shirley, a Northerner. Shirley's socializing enrages Pearson when he finds her in the company of Alexander Chapman, a drunken wastrel, but after a bitter quarrel, they reconcile. Pearson's younger brother Morgan soon arrives accompanied by his fiancée, Margery Gibson. Shirley befriends Morgan, creating jealousy in Margery, who goes to Pearson for consolation and advice, but instead rekindles Pearson's own jealousy. Later, at a dance in the Hunter home, Chapman reappears uninvited. Morgan, aware of the situation, removes Chapman to the garden where the latter says insulting things about Shirley. Morgan knocks Chapman out, then returns to the house just as Jim Webb, a poor man with consumption enters the garden. Upon seeing Chapman, Webb kills him in revenge of a past confict, but when a servant discovers the body, Morgan assumes that he is guilty and seeks council from Shirley. Pearson breaks in on them and, assuming a romance between them, despondently goes to the garden where he overhears Webb's confession, which results in a reconciliation among all the parties.