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Jefferson Scott, Jr. and Robert Gordon, hunters in the Belgian Congo, are thrown together with missionaries Sangamon and Mary Morton and their daughter Ruth. Scott marries Ruth, and Gordon is entrusted with stock certificates to be taken back to Scott's father in America. Later Scott and the elder Mortons are killed by the native Wakandas; Ruth and her daughter Virginia are saved by Belgian forces and afterwards return to America to live with Scott's father. The stock certificates, meanwhile, have gone astray, with only a single sheet of paper having been delivered to the elder Scott. Nineteen years pass. On the death of Jefferson Scott, Sr., Virginia Scott is to inherit the estate, but the will cannot be located, and Scott Taylor, her grandfather’s disinherited nephew, appears to claim a half share. Proposing to Virginia in an effort to obtain it all, he is rebuffed, whereupon he disputes her right to any of the estate, pretending she is illegitimate. Ruth attempts to prove her marriage to Virginia's father by writing to Robert Gordon, who witnessed the ceremony, but he is now deceased. Her appeal reaches his son Dick Gordon instead. Moved but unable to provide the desired proof, Gordon writes back of his intention to sail to Africa to seek documentation of the marriage there. Taylor intercepts the letter and follows him with the intention of murder. Discovering this, Virginia also sets out for Africa.
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