Widow Maitland's two sons, Ralph and Steve, after being tattooed by an old sailor, return home, where both receive a thrashing. Ralph resents it and runs away. Fifteen years pass. Steve and his mother go west, where he is elected sheriff. Ralph comes to the very county in which his brother and mother are living. He has drifted from bad to worse, and after a poker game, he suggests to his pals that they go to a dance in a neighboring town. Arriving there, a quarrel takes place in which a young man is shot by Ralph, who makes his escape. The sheriff starts out with a posse after the murder. He is finally overtaken, and wounded, and is captured. After being taken back to the town, his wounds are cared for and during that process, his tattoo is discovered, and Steve recognizes his brother. All the medical attendance at hand is given him, but he sinks, and only regains consciousness long enough to ask forgiveness of Steve, and say goodbye to his mother.
Moving Picture World synopsis