John Ward, a young workman, loves Mary Durland, daughter of a rich politician, who installs prison contract labor in the prisons of his city. The other knitting mills in the town cannot compete with cheap prison labor and are forced to close down. John and his brother, Joe, are thrown out of work and with others of the men, go to see Durland, who refuses to listen to them. John and Joe vainly look for work. Their mother is ill and needs nourishing food and medicine, and they have no money. Joe, an impulsive, warm-hearted lad, decides that as Durland took their living away, he shall pay, and he goes to his office intending to rob it of enough to carry his mother through her illness. Durland returns for some papers and the boy is caught. He is sent to prison and works on the knitting machines. He breaks down under the strain, is brutally treated by the guards and is later transferred to the road making gang. Unaccustomed to this he faints continually, but never meets the slightest ...
Moving Picture World synopsis