Young Sandra De Hault arrives by ship in Sacramento, California, during the 1849 Gold Rush. While on board she adopted three children whose mother had died during the voyage. While in Sacramento she is saved from the attentions of a violent drunk by Stanton Holliday, an agent for eastern banker John Grey. They fall for each other, but Sandra believes that the daughter of Halliday's boss is in love with him, and not wanting to hurt his career she leaves town. She later runs into Halliday under less than auspicious circumstances.