How will Helen Barnet and her father survive the harsh realities of the New York City slums?
In 1826, Helen Barnet is the daughter of an impoverished and degenerate gambler, eking out a living in the New York City slums. The only thing that keeps her going is her sweetheart, John Golden, a blacksmith at a nearby iron works. When her father owes an outstanding debt, he is harassed by creditors who threaten him with harm if he doesn’t pay. In a moment of desperation, she prevails upon the mercy of her father’s creditor, Mr. Richard Foxley, a wealthy merchant and loan shark. When he agrees to help her, his only mystifying requirement is that she marry him. This coming from the man she once jilted when she was a young debutante eight years before. Will she accept?