Chris Christopherson, an old, hard-drinking Swedish barge captain, is thrilled to hear that his daughter, Anna, is coming to visit. He hasn't seen her in over fifteen years and remembers her as a sweet and innocent little girl. At first, the reunion goes well. Anna fits in with her father's friends and even falls in love with a sailor named Mat. However, things turn sour when Chris's common-law wife, Marthy, discovers that Anna is a former streetwalker who has come back to try and rebuild her life. At the neighborhood ball, Marthy reveals the truth about Anna and nearly destroys her dreams of happiness.
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